TRENTON, N.J. — On Oct. 22 a bill that would add tick control to the duties of the mosquito commissions was voted out of committee.
The Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee voted 5-0 with one abstention to send Assembly Bill No. 4459 to the full Assembly.
The bill is sponsored by Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey, both from District 11, Monmouth County.
The bill would add tick control to the duties of the State and county mosquito control commissions. Ticks, like mosquitoes, are vectors for disease. Ticks are known to transmit diseases such as anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Lyme disease, Powassan disease and other diseases to humans, livestock including horses, and pets.
New Jersey is especially conducive to ticks because of its climate, woodlands, and its large agricultural sector. Also the state’s proximity to major ports such as New 20 York City and Philadelphia make the State susceptible to invasive species, such as the East Asian Tick, which was recently found in Hunterdon County. East Asian ticks have been known to spread severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome, a potentially life threatening disease.
Under current law, no statewide or countywide measures are authorized to control the tick population. This bill would authorize the mosquito control commissions to create and implement tick control measures. The commissions would use their existing revenue-raising powers to finance any tick control measures that they deem appropriate.
About the Mosquito Control Commission
In New Jersey, organized mosquito control work began in the early 1900s following the discovery that mosquitoes were directly responsible for the transmission of some of the most deadly diseases known to man and animals. Today, control of these pests in the state is addressed at every level of government, ranging from seasonal programs at the municipal and federal levels, to year-round programs administered by county and state agencies. One such agency is the State Mosquito Control Commission.
The State Mosquito Control Commission was established in 1956. The commission is staffed full-time by the Office of Mosquito Control Coordination and is located at the Department of Environmental Protection. Membership on the commission includes six public members and four state officials.
To combat mosquitoes a safe environmentally-sound Mosquito Aerial Application Operation is maintained. The commission reviews municipal and county mosquito control programs and projects to ensure their compliance with existing state and federal regulations and policies. It also supports and encourages the training of county mosquito control personnel and education of the general public with regard to mosquito biology, surveillance, and the various chemical, biological and water management techniques and practices used in the state's abatement efforts.