Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Township officials released this notice today:

This summer has been one of the worst seasons for mosquito bites that many of us can remember.  This is to update residents on what is already being done and what we can do 

The Essex County Mosquito Control has been busy monitoring mosquito activity at ten to fifteen locations in the township.  They trap mosquitoes, sort them by species and have them tested for viral diseases such as West Nile virus.  This trapping has shown that the Asian Tiger mosquitoes are very prevalent.  These are the very aggressive small mosquitoes that will bite even in broad daylight.  You usually do not even notice that you have been bitten until you feel the itchy bite that is left behind. 

Other species such as the culex mosquito, which is the primary carrier of West Nile Virus have been found. These mosquitoes tend to feed on birds rather than people.  Asian Tiger mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, but they are not as efficient a disease transmitter as the culex species. 

Mosquito Control has been doing Ultra Light Fogging in many neighborhoods in the Township. This fogging has been going on in the very early morning so you may not have noticed this activity.  The fogging results in a quick knockdown of adult mosquitoes and provides temporary relief.  The insecticide is safe for pets and people and it has a short residual effect of only a few hours.  Contact the Essex County Mosquito Control if you need further info on the specific sprays being used. 

The most important step that we all can take is to check the outside of our properties for stagnant water sources.  Simply turn over these water sources or drain them and this will stop the breeding.  One significant fact, as relayed by the County Mosquito Control, is that the Asian Tiger mosquitoes do not fly far from their breeding sources.  So, the mosquitoes that are biting you are breeding right in your neighborhood.

Mosquito breeding sites that are often found are:
1.      Old tires that have collected water. This is a favorite Tiger mosquito breeding site.  Dump this water out and put the tire in the garage where it will not refill.  Tires can be taken for recycling for $1.00 by getting a coupon at the Township Clerk’s office.
2.      Spackle buckets, garbage cans, and any container that holds water.  Empty cat food cans have frequently been found as a breeding source.
3.      Clogged roof gutters. 
4.      Back yard pools that are neglected and left non circulating.  The blow up type pools have often been found with breeding larvae.
5.      Planters, bird baths and decorative ponds that are not tended. 
6.  Natural spots such as tree hollows, depressions or gullies in the soil
Further helpful information on mosquito control and mosquito borne diseases can be found at CDC.gov and at the NJ State Dept of Health and Senior Services web sites.   As always, the Maplewood Health Dept. can be contacted for help.  The Essex County Mosquito Control also wants residents to call directly with complaints as this helps them monitor problem areas.  Their phone number is 973-239-3366 x 2480. 

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