Protect yourself and help reduce the mosquito population

FREEHOLD, NJ – Fall is here! That means that the weather is cooler, schools are open and mosquitoes are still biting.

“Despite the change in season, residents need to continue protecting themselves from mosquitoes,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, liaison to the Monmouth County Mosquito Extermination Commission. “The spread of mosquito-borne diseases such as the West Nile virus continues into this time of year so you still need to to reduce your risk of being exposed.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommends that people can reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes and their exposure to mosquito-borne diseases by following some simple steps:

  • When outdoors, apply insect repellent following the label instructions
  • Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants whenever possible
  • Avoid outdoor activity at peak mosquito times - dusk and dawn

The CDC recommended repellents include those that contain the active ingredient DEET, picaridin, IR 3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus. 

“You should choose a repellent that provides protection for the amount of time you will be outdoors,” said Douglas Guthrie, Sr., Superintendent of the County’s mosquito control program. “Repellents with a higher percentage of an active ingredient, like DEET, typically provide longer-lasting protection.”  

The Commission also emphasizes that homeowners should check that their window and door screens are in good repair.

The Mosquito Extermination Commission routinely tests various County sites to monitor the presence of mosquito-borne diseases including West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

September is often the time of year when a virus can be detected in species of mosquitoes that can bite people. The mosquito samples collected as part of the Commission’s surveillance program are used by the Commission to target specific areas for additional treatment.

“I have every confidence in the professionalism and dedication of the Commission’s employees to provide quality mosquito control,” Guthrie said. “I also recognize the fact that we can’t eliminate all mosquitoes. Therefore, it is important that people follow the CDC’s recommendations for personal protection and help us reduce mosquitoes by eliminating containers holding water on their property.”

At this time of year, the Asian tiger mosquito is a common nuisance mosquito that bites throughout the day. These mosquitoes utilize any container capable of holding water from small indentations in plastic toys to garbage cans and barrels. Residents can do much to protect themselves and their neighbors by diligently emptying water from containers such as buckets, plastic lids and tarps.

For the latest information on mosquito control in MonmouthCounty, residents can log onto the Commission’s website at www.visitmonmouth.com/mosquito. Residents can also complete a request for service form online or call 732-542-3630.  

The most up-to-date adult mosquito control information can also be heard on the Mosquito Commission’s hotline at 732-578-1600.