The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds residents that the county’s Bureau of Mosquito Control is continuing its annual program of scheduled pesticide sprayings in order to reduce the risk of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in the region. As in past years, the spraying program began in May and will end when cooler weather prevails, in October.
The locations for the sprayings are determined on a weekly basis and have always been publicized through print media as required by statewide regulations. Last summer, Union County also began posting the schedules on its website, ucnj.org.
“Union County has a 100-year history of leadership in the mosquito control field, and that includes keeping the public informed about our operations,” said Freeholder Chairman Linda Carter. “By posting schedules on the web we can reach a much wider audience than before.”
Persons who wish to minimize direct exposure to pesticides, whether from Mosquito Control activities or from their personal use, can take the following standard precautions:
- When possible, stay indoors when pesticides are in use outdoors.
- Close air conditioner vents or choose the “re-circulate” function.
- Remove outdoor toys, or wash them before using again.
- Remove laundry from clotheslines, or wash it.
- Wash all produce thoroughly with water.
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, and a single female needs only a small amount of water to lay hundreds of eggs. To help keep the mosquito population down, residents and business owners are advised to check their property for any places where small amounts of water can collect such as empty flower pots, pool covers, and children’s toys.
In particular, roof gutters should be checked for sagging or blocked areas where water can collect. Litter and debris, especially discarded tires, are other favorite breeding sites.
The following standard precautions help to reduce the risk of mosquito bites:
- When possible, limit time outdoors between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Weather permitting, wear long and light-colored clothing.
- Use a repellent approved for use on skin and clothing, and to follow all instructions on the label carefully. Additional guidance on mosquito repellents is available from the Centers for Disease Control.
- Use window screens and check them periodically for tears or holes.
Mosquito infestations can be reported by calling the Union County Mosquito Hotline at 908-654-9834 during business hours. County inspectors will examine the property and provide guidance on eliminating breeding sites. If needed, the inspectors will also survey the surrounding area.
For more information about mosquito control efforts in Union County, visit the Bureau of Mosquito Control online at ucnj.org.