MORRIS COUNTY, NJ- While Morris County mosquito extermination crews have done some spraying this week in heavily infested mosquito breeding grounds, your best bet to reduce these pesky biting bugs near your home is to do a weekend check for standing water in your backyards and gutters, and to remove even small quantities that have built up during recent rains and could breed millions of mosquitoes.
Mosquito control experts are enlisting residents in all 39 Morris County towns in this battle, especially against the most probable New Jersey carrier of the Zika virus, the Asian Tiger Mosquito, which thrives in backyard settings.
Clearing out backyards cannot prevent all mosquito infestation, with county crews out in several areas of Morris county this week to do some heavy duty spraying of heavily infested areas.
County crews have been using an all terrain vehicle sprayer and back sprayer to treat the woods and floodplains at various locations in Chatham, Denville, East Hanover, Florham Park, Kinnelon and Parsippany this week.
But the county crews need the public’s help.
“If everyone would take steps around their own homes to eliminate standing water, it could make a very big difference, reducing the number of mosquitoes by many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, where you live,’’ said Morris County Mosquito Control Administrator Kris McMorland.
The most common backyard species of mosquito travels only about thousand feet from where they are spawned. Mosquitoes spend their juvenile life stage in the aquatic environment and will go from egg to adult in about one week during the summer. So removing standing water near your home can have a dramatic impact on your mosquito population.
In addition to the nuisance of mosquitos, they also bring the possibility of mosquito borne diseases, such as West Nile and Zika viruses, which are transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitos.
“Our county team does a great job of working to battle mosquitos in some of the toughest breeding grounds in the county but they need your help when it comes to making a difference in your yard or neighborhood,’’ saidFreeholder John Cesaro, liaison to the County Mosquito Control Division. “What steps you take, or don’t take, can affect families living all around you.’’
Steps you can take to reduce populations of the insect include:
- At least once or twice a week, empty water from flower pots, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels, and cans.
- Check for clogged rain gutters and clean them out.
- Remove discarded tires, and other items that could collect water.
- Be sure to check for containers or trash in places that may be hard to see, such as under bushes or under your home.
Look very carefully around your property for anything that could hold water in which mosquitos can lay eggs. If you are starting to rebuild, make sure standing water is not collecting on tarps or in any receptacles.
Additional tips on how to limit mosquitoes on your property include:
- Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers that have accumulated on your property
- Drill holes in the bottom and elevate recycling containers that are left outdoors
- Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens are fashionable but become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, including those that are not being used. A swimming pool that is left untended can produce enough mosquitoes to result in neighborhood-wide complaints. Be aware mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on pool covers.
For more tips on battling all mosquitos this summer by eliminating standing water around your homes to reduce mosquito breeding, visit:http://morriscountynj.gov/mosquito/whatyoucando/
To help education the public, the Morris County Mosquito Control Division also has been setting up a travelling information display with information you need to stop this mosquito from making your home, its home.
That display will be set up for a week each at various municipal locations. It will be at the Jefferson Township Library from Aug. 29 to Sept. 2