Friday, September 9th, 2011

Weather is wreaking havoc with efforts in Morris County to control mosquitoes.

More than 20 inches of rain in some sections of the county in August alone means that standing water is being experienced in some areas that never had that problem before, said Kris McMorland, superintendent of the Morris County Mosquito Extermination Commission.

“We know that mosquito populations will be emerging in the wake of Hurricane Irene and these other tropical systems that have been moving through the county,” McMorland said. “Our crews are working hard, doing their best to try and ease the problem.”

Mosquito Commission staff has been attacking the problem on the ground and in the air, McMorland said.

Truck-mounted and all terrain vehicle-mounted spraying has been conducted in a number of communities including Denville, Lincoln Park, Pequannock, Montville, Hanover, Florham Park, Roxbury, Parsippany, Morris Plains and Wharton, McMorland said.

The county is also working with the New Jersey Office of Mosquito Control Coordination to try and control the mosquitoes in the flooded areas along the Passaic, Rockaway and Whippany Rivers using the State Air Spray program, McMorland said.

“We will continue to try and get the mosquitoes under control before they emerge as adults,” McMorland said. “But this weather is making our job extremely difficult.”

He said the public’s assistance in helping to control and reduce the mosquito population and minimize the threat of the diseases they carry is important.
According to McMorland, the most important thing a homeowner can do is exercise more vigilance around his or her yard.

“Obviously, mosquitoes need water for breeding,” McMorland said. “By eliminating standing water around the outside of a house, a homeowner is helping to reduce mosquito levels.”

He said cans, plastic containers, buckets, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers outside a home should be checked, and any water from recent rainfall that has accumulated in them should be emptied or disposed of. Water in bird baths should be changed regularly and clogged gutters should be cleared, advised McMorland.

More information about the Morris County Mosquito Commission may be obtained on its website, www.morrismosquito.org, or by calling the commission at (973) 285-6450.

The website is updated on a regular basis with the latest news about the commission’s activities in the fight against mosquitoes, including information about spray operations, times and specific spray locations and neighborhoods.