BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Union County Mosquito Control is planning to treat all of Berkeley Heights via aerial spray in response to address the recent EEE activity found in Berkeley Heights. The spraying, still subject to approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), is tentatively set for Wednesday night, October 2, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The township will confirm on Wednesday if/when the FAA gives the approval for the aerial spraying, which will be carried out by a State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection contracted helicopter.
Though the adulticide spray, Zenivex Estofenprox, which is a member of the non-ester pyrethroid chemical family - is safe for humans and pets, we understand any concern some residents may have with such a spraying. Therefore, when the spraying is confirmed, all sporting or other outdoor activities beginning at 7 pm or after will be canceled that night.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is a mosquito-borne illness. All five mosquito pools in Berkeley Heights most recently tested negative for EEE but earlier last month, during routine testing, the Union County Bureau of Mosquito Control found that a mosquito pool in the Emerson Lane area near the Warren border tested positive for EEE. Since then, the county has been aggressively spraying the most mosquito-prone areas in Berkeley Heights, as well as the areas around the original positive test pool. Somerset County has been doing the same on its side of the border.
These necessary public health efforts are designed to knock down potential bridge vector mosquito species in the area, documented through the County’s mosquito surveillance efforts, while further reducing the threat of disease transmission.
The application awaiting approval for Wednesday night will be weather permitting. Please note that temperature plays a critical role in mosquito activity and weather conditions need to be suitable for this operation to occur. A notice will be posted on the Union County website that will have information for the public and contact numbers for residents to call with any questions once the flight is set to be flown.
There will be 5 other municipalities involved in this operation: Summit, Scotch Plains, New Providence, Springfield and Mountainside.