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Posted Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

Number One Tool:  Eliminate Standing Water from Your Property

COVID-19 may be front and center on most fronts this Spring but Morris County’s pesky mosquito population could care less.

While residents seek social-distanced refuge in their back yards and decks or parks and trails, these persistent bugs are ready to take an outdoor bite out of your already reduced fun.

Morris County’s mosquito control teams are attacking wet areas of the county, treating and eliminating breeding grounds for mosquito larvae. They also are spraying infested areas — targeting sections of Montville, East Hanover, and Florham Park in recent days. (Upcoming spraying schedule: https://morriscountynj.gov/mosquito/)

Mosquito Control inspector Walter Jones looks for evidence of mosquito larvae in stands of swampy water in Lincoln Park.

Mosquito Control inspector Walter Jones inspects for mosquito larvae at a wetland in Lincoln Park

While those efforts can pay major dividends in minimizing infestation, individual property owners have the ability to make a major difference, too

If everyone would take steps around their own homes to eliminate standing water, it could reduce the number of mosquitoes by many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, where you live,’’ said Morris County Mosquito Division Superintendent Kristian McMorland.

Steps you can take to reduce mosquito populations include:

  • At least once a week, empty water from flowerpots, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels, and cans;
  • Check for clogged rain gutters and clean them out;
  • Poke holes in trash cans and recycling containers;
  • Recycle discarded tires, and remove other items that could collect water;
  • Check for containers in places that may be hard to see, such as under bushes or under your home;
  • Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish like fathead minnows;
  • Do not allow water gardens to stagnate;
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, including those not in use (mosquitoes may even breed in water that collects on pool covers);
  • Dispose of cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers that have accumulated on your property

In addition to the nuisance, mosquitoes also bring the possibility of diseases such as West Nile Virus, Eastern equine and St. Louis encephalitis, which are transmitted through mosquito bites.

Ashley Kerekgyarto from Mosquito Control sets a mosquito trap that uses dry ice as bait.

Ashley Kerekgyarto from Mosquito Control sets a mosquito trap that uses dry ice

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

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