Everyone can help prevent mosquito-borne diseases in Union County.
Union County, NJ – Now that the summertime outdoor activity season has begun in earnest, the Union County Board of Commissioners reminds residents, businesses and visitors alike to help reduce the mosquito population in their neighborhoods and in Union County. Mosquitoes are more than a nuisance. They can cause serious and sometimes fatal illnesses.
West Nile virus is the most common example of a potentially fatal mosquito-borne disease that can occur in New Jersey.
“The best protection is prevention,” said Commissioner Board Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “In addition to using insect repellent, everyone can help keep mosquitoes at bay by eliminating any places where they can breed.”
Mosquitos can breed practically anywhere water can collect. That includes clogged rain gutters, corrugated down spout extensions, outdoor equipment, children’s toys and playsets, and garden items including flower pots, buckets, recycling containers, grills, wheelbarrows and tarpaulins.
Old tires are a major concern as they tend to be out of sight and out of mind, but one old tire can breed thousands of mosquitoes during the summer.
Even an item as small as an upturned bottle cap or a crumpled plastic bag can become a prolific mosquito breeding ground.
The recent wet weather has provided mosquitos with many new breeding sites. Property owners and tenants are advised to take advantage of dry spells to make a quick sweep of their yards and shake out any items that have collected stagnant water.
Unused pools, fountains and ornamental ponds should be drained and covered. Water in birdbaths should be refreshed daily.
Additional guidance is available through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, at nj.gov/dep/mosquito.
To avoid mosquito bites, residents are advised to use EPA-registered insect repellants and to follow all instructions on the label carefully.
Another effective precaution is to wear long, light-colored clothing when outdoors. Exposure can also be reduced by avoiding time outdoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
The Union County Bureau of Mosquito Control has been in continual operation since April 1, 1912 and works closely with officials from New Jersey DEP. The Bureau regularly inspects and tests for mosquitoes throughout the County and conducts larviciding and adulticiding operations on an as-needed basis.
Mosquito infestations can be reported by calling the Union County Mosquito Hotline at 908-654-9835. County inspectors will examine the property and provide guidance on eliminating breeding sites. If necessary, inspectors will also survey the surrounding area.
For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Union County COVID-19 Test Center at Kean University, the Mobile Test Unit, vaccination information, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.
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