Monday, July 13th, 2015

To reduce mosquito problems around your home or business this summer, and ease concerns about West Nile virus,  the Morris County Division of Mosquito Control is asking homeowners and businesses to drain sources of standing water outdoors and routinely check property for containers collecting water where mosquitoes breed.

Morris County Mosquito Division Encourages Residents and Businesses to Remove Standing Water to Reduce Mosquito Population

“At this time of year, even just a bit of standing water can create a huge number of mosquitoes that can have a negative impact on your quality of life,’’ said Mosquito Division Superintendent Kristian McMorland.

“It’s important to remove or clean or repair anything that can collect rain or sprinkler water – such as clogged gutters, old car tires, wheelbarrows, planters, birdbaths or unused swimming or wading pools.

 “If everyone would take steps around their own homes to eliminate standing water, it could make a very big difference, reducing the number of mosquitos by many thousands, if not millions, where you live.’’

The most common backyard specie of mosquito travels only about thousand feet from where they are spawned. 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 virus, which are transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitos.

County mosquito crews have so far gotten four positive hits on West Nile virus in mosquito pools, which is slightly above average. But there have been no human cases of the disease.

  

Morris County Mosquito Division Encourages Residents and Businesses to Remove Standing Water to Reduce Mosquito Population
 

 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
  • Repair and maintain barriers, such as window and door screens, to prevent mosquitoes from entering buildings. Barriers over rain barrels or cistern and septic pipes will deny female mosquitoes the opportunity to lay eggs on water
  • Wear an EPA-registered mosquito repellant, following label instructions, when outdoors.
  • If possible, stay indoors at dawn and dusk, when mosquitos are most active.
  • Wear long-sleeve shirts and pants, if practical, when exploring the outdoors.  
If you have problems controlling mosquitoes, have questions about mosquito control or want to report mosquito activity in your neighborhood, contact the county Division of Mosquito Control at 973-285-6450. Explore the county website for more information on mosquito biology and control, including spraying operations and locations, which are posted at www.morrismosquito.org