Camden County: Mosquito Season Not Over

While September 22 marks the end of summer – “Mosquito season” lasts into November. Freeholder Jeffery L. Nash and the Camden County MosquitoCommission encourage residents to continue to safeguard against the pests until the first frost and beyond.

Recently, the unfortunate number of foreclosures has contributed to the abandoned properties and pools uncared for in Camden County neighborhoods. These are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. It is important for residents to help themselves and the entire neighborhood by dumping out stagnant water wherever it collects for one week or more. The effort does not require the use of insecticides. Simply dumping the water on the ground will kill the mosquito larvae.

“Our county mosquito commission checks a few thousand mosquito breeding sites across the county on a regular basis. This keeps the mosquito population low and breaks up the cycles where diseases are spread from various animals to humans by a mosquito bite,” said Freeholder Nash, liaison to the Camden County MosquitoCommission.

The Mosquito Commission is also working to educate residents on a new species of mosquito under surveillance in our region, the Asian Tiger Mosquito. It differs from other common mosquitoes in that it bites during the day rather than dusk. The Asian Tiger Mosquito is highly ornamented with a black background that is highlighted with bright white markings. The small containers of water favored by the Asian Tiger Mosquito include tin cans, plastic buckets, cemetery urns, dishes under flowerpots, trashcans, recycling buckets, pool covers, folds in tarps and discarded tires.

Mosquitoes are known to carry disease that has been previously found throughout the East Coast and in every county in New Jersey. Those over 50 or those with a compromised immune system are at a higher risk of more severe disease.

“While the chance of becoming ill from a mosquito is small, there are things residents should do to protect themselves and their property well into the fall,” said Freeholder Nash.

* Residents should check their property for any object that holds water for more than a few days. All pre-adult mosquito stages (eggs, larvae, and pupae) must be in stagnant water in order to develop into adult mosquitoes.

* Swimming pools are a common problem after Labor Day. All pools must be checked and maintained to keep them mosquito-free through October. Swimming pools can breed mosquitoes within days after you stop adding chlorine or other disinfectant. Pool covers can catch rainwater and become a mosquito development site. Drain or winterize as normal and then check each week for insects wiggling just below the water surface. Add a little chlorine to kill mosquitoes.

* Maintain screens to exclude adult mosquitoes from your home or business.

* Personal protection is strongly urged if you are outside when mosquitoes may be active—generally dawn and dusk. Insect repellants containing between 10-35% DEET are very effective, however, be sure to follow the label directions and take extra precautions with children and infants.

Freeholder Nash suggests checking around your yard for mosquito breeding containers. The following is a checklist of tips to help eliminate mosquito breeding:

* Dispose of unnecessary containers that hold water. Containers you wish to save turn upside down or put holes in the bottom so all water drains out.

* Lift up flowerpots and dump the water from the dish underneath every week.

* Stock fish or add mosquito larvicide to ornamental ponds.

* Change water in bird baths, fountains, and animal troughs weekly.

* Screen vents to septic and other water tanks.

* Store small boats upside down and large boats so they drain. If covered, keep the tarp tight so water does not pool on top of the tarp.

* Do not dump leaves or grass clippings into a catch basin or streams.

* Check for standing water in underground downspouts.

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