Posted Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

REMOVE ALL STANDING WATER AROUND YOUR HOME

This summer’s continuing heavy rainfalls are contributing to a whale of a mosquito infestation in the Morris County area. Heavy rains have caused increased flooding, which also increases the expanse of mosquito breeding habitat.

Planter filled with water

A planter becomes a hatchery for mosquitoes when it contains water. Most mosquitoes only travel about 1,000 feet from where they are spawned, so they will stick around to bite — you.

The Morris County Division of Mosquito continues to battle these biting insects with large scale spraying, where possible. Morris residents can help dramatically reduce the mosquito population by removing standing water from around your homes and property, because that’s where mosquitoes lay their eggs.

When the sun comes out, thoroughly check the outside your house, apartment, condominium or wherever you live in Morris County and drain sources of standing water to eliminate areas where mosquitoes can breed, such as such as planters, gutters, old tires, bird baths, and wheelbarrows.

The most common backyard species of mosquito travels only about a 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 the mosquito population around your home.

“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 Mosquito Division Superintendent Kristian McMorland.

Graphic of a backyard, showing many various places where water can collect

This summer, county mosquito teams have been spraying heavy mosquito breeding areas via trucks, ATVs and back-mounted sprayers. They will spray this week in Montville, Parsippany, East Hanover, Florham Park,  Randolph, Rockaway Township and Rockaway Borough. Visit https://morriscountynj.gov/mosquito/ for the schedule.

Wheelbarrow filled with water

A wheelbarrow of water can produce enough mosquitoes to infect a neighborhood.

“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, trash can covers, birdbaths, old tarps, or unused swimming or wading pools,’’ said McMorland. “Even just a bit of standing water can produce a huge number of mosquitoes that can have a negative impact on your quality of life.’’

In addition to the nuisance of mosquitoes, they also bring the possibility of mosquito-borne diseases, such as West Nile virus, which is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito.

“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,’’ said Freeholder 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 mosquito populations include:

  • photo of discarded tires

    Mosquitoes can breed by the thousands or millions in water-filled discarded tires, pool covers, drains, etc…

    At least once 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.
  • Recycle discarded tires, and remove 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 build, 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

Photo of mosquito on a human armCheck screens in windows and doors and make any necessary repairs to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.

For more details on mosquitos, visit: https://morriscountynj.gov/mosquito/info/

Also, check out the following videos for advice on dealing with mosquitoes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_ekfQ-F4F4 or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiQXLZnU7lA