FREEHOLD, NJ – With spring showers come more than just flowers. Ticks and mosquitoes are on the move and Monmouth County officials are reminding residents to beprepared.

“Even though ticks and mosquitoes are two of the few things we don’t like about spring, it is not a reason to avoid the beautiful outdoors,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, who serves as the freeholder representative on the Mosquito Control Advisory Board.

“Get out and enjoy the sunshine, plant in your garden and take in the beauty around you. By taking proper precautions and being extra vigilant, you can enjoy all those things despite the pests that crawl or fly.

“The flowers are beginning to bloom and the weather is getting milder. These beautiful signs of spring and summer also symbolize the beginning of tick and mosquito season,” explained DiMaso. “Now is the time to prepare your home and protect yourself from these pests.”

“The County has a public awareness campaign describing precautions which limit exposure to mosquito or tick bites,” continued DiMaso. “These pests can transmit serious diseases that cause illness or permanent disability. Using a repellent makes a difference. It helps avoid bites, protects against diseases and enables us to enjoy the outside.”

You can help reduce the mosquito population by eliminating sources where mosquitoes live and breed. Remove any areas of standing water and don’t overwater your lawn. Dispose of all useless containers and those that must be kept should be turned upside down. Tires, especially, can provide a breeding place for thousands of mosquitoes.

“Wear light colored clothing so a tick will be easier to spot,” added DiMaso. “Always check yourself, your children and your pets, for ticks after spending time outdoors.”

When enjoying the outdoors, whether at home or while traveling, make sure to always wear insect repellent, following all label directions. If using a sunscreen, apply the repellent after the sunscreen. Repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus will help protect you and your family from both ticks and mosquitoes.

To protect an outdoor area, use d-Allethrin or Metofluthrin which are insecticides and repellents that provide protection for four to six hours.

To identify ways residents can help reduce the mosquito population, Monmouth County has created a Mosquito Habitat Checklist which is available on www.visitmonmouth.com/mosquito.

For more information, call Monmouth County Mosquito Control at 732-542-3630 or visit www.visitmonmouth.com.