Whether at home or traveling, always protect yourself

FREEHOLD, NJ – It is often easy to forget to put on insect repellant, but the Monmouth County Mosquito Control Division is reminding residents to avoid itchy mosquito bites and possible disease by always using insect repellant at home and when traveling.

“Whenever you go outdoors, even if it is only for a few minutes, you should protect yourself from mosquitoes and the diseases they can carry,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, liaison to Mosquito Control. “Even though all mosquitoes can carry diseases, residents should be on the lookout for the Asian Tiger mosquito.”

The Asian tiger mosquito, or ATM, is a medium-sized black and white mosquito that feeds during the day and primarily on people. It was first discovered in Monmouth County in 1995 and has since spread throughout our communities and greatly increased in numbers. It is extremely aggressive and can potentially transmit several diseases including West Nile Virus and Dog Heartworm.

“The larvae of the ATM can be found living in water collected in containers of almost any size,” said DiMaso. “A container, as small as a soda bottle top, may be home to hundreds of mosquito larvae.”

Commonly found containers include old tires, buckets, children’s toys, flower pot saucers, tarps and bird baths. Less known containers include holes in portable basketball hoop bases, flexible downspout extensions, and boats. Any container that can hold water for more than seven days can provide a home for mosquito larvae.

There are several ways to prevent creating a home for mosquito larvae, which include:

  • Keep buckets, wheel barrows, trash bins, etc. free of standing water.
  • Change water in kiddie pools, pet dishes and bird baths at least every seven days.
  • Discard all unwanted containers like empty cans and old tires.

Monmouth County residents can dispose of rim-less tires, free of charge, at the Monmouth County Reclamation Center. For more information call 732-683-8686 or visit www.visitmonmouth.com.

For more information on mosquito-borne diseases and home mosquito control methods, visit the Monmouth County Mosquito Control Division webpage at www.visitmonmouth.com.