The spring rain is continuing – for now. However, once the sun comes back out, be ready to thoroughly check the outside your house, apartment, and condominium or wherever you live in Morris County and drain sources of standing water to eliminate areas where mosquitoes can breed.
If you’d like to help avoid a nasty plague of those pesky biting and disease carrying critters this spring and summer on and around your property, make sure to look for and eliminate all sources of standing water, such as such as planters, gutters, old tires or wheelbarrows.
“If everyone would take steps around their own homes to eliminate standing water, it could make a very big difference, reducing the number of mosquitos by many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, where you live,’’ said Mosquito Division Superintendent Kristian McMorland.
The Morris County Division of Mosquito Control has been active for months preparing for this year’s mosquito battle, but you can be the difference maker when it comes to mosquitos around where you live.
In recent few weeks, when weather has allowed, county mosquito teams have been spraying heavy mosquito breeding areas via trucks, ATVs and back-mounted sprayers. They have sprayed this week in Chatham, Florham Park, and Parsippany, and are set to do spray large areas of Lincoln Park and Montville on Thursday (visit https://morriscountynj.gov/mosquito/ for the upcoming schedule)
“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.’’
The most common backyard species of mosquito travels only about 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 your mosquito population.
In addition to the nuisance of mosquitos, 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:
- 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 rebuild, 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
It is also a good time now to check screens in windows and doors and make any necessary repairs to prevent mosquitos from entering your home.