Ocean County Press Release
AS MORE people spend time outdoors and hang out in backyards this summer, the Ocean County Mosquito Extermination Commission is reminding residents to protect themselves from mosquitoes.
"Residents need to be aware of locations that may serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes in their yards," said Ocean County Freeholder Deputy Director Gary Quinn, who is liaison to the Ocean County Mosquito Extermination Commission. "With over 40 different species of mosquitoes found in Ocean County, it is imperative to do what you can to limit the chance of mosquitoes."
Since 1913, the Ocean County Mosquito Extermination Commission has been helping residents curb the mosquito population across the County by using a balance of a variety of different treatment plans in many different types of ecosystems. Focusing on biological control and water management practices, the Ocean County Mosquito Extermination Commission inspects and treats areas including swamps, wood pools, roadside ditches, retention/detention basins, catch basins, and saltmarshes. Ground crews track rainfall and are dispatched to areas that need the most attention, and the helicopters check approximately 80 spots at least twice a week, doing treatments on saltmarsh areas and any inland areas that are too big to treat from the ground.
In addition, the adult mosquito population is monitored five days a week by taking landing rate counts in 60 spots throughout the county and a collection is taken from 28 New Jersey light traps. Rainfall information is collected daily from 19 sites as well. Mosquitoes are also trapped each week and are sent to be tested for West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, and Jamestown Canyon Virus.
"Controlling the mosquito population has come a long way over the years," said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. "These methods are conducted in ways that allow for the highest level of safety to protect humans, non-target species, and the environment."
While yard audits are unavailable due to COVID-19, residents are being asked to take the time and inspect their own properties for any source of standing water that could breed mosquitoes. Common places to look for larvae are open buckets, open trashcans, clogged gutters, tarps, saucers under planter pots, corrugated drains, kids' toys, tires, pool covers, unused pools, and birdbaths.
"If an object can hold water for four to five days, it can be a problem," said Quinn. "These mosquitoes can often be found in water amounts as small as a bottle cap, which makes dumping standing water simple and the most effective way for controlling mosquitoes."
Furthermore, horse owners are being urged to properly vaccinate their horses for West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
"It is important that everyone does their part in the battle we wage annually against mosquitoes," said Quinn. "Residents need to take the proper precautions just as we do at the county-level. No program is fool-proof which is why we need to work together."
For more information on the Ocean County Mosquito Extermination Commission, call 609-698-8271 or visit www.oceancountymosquito.org.