MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – With so many Morris County residents spending a lot more time in their backyards, decks and patios this summer, county mosquito experts have an important piece of advice: You have the power to deal with mosquitoes in your own back yard by eliminating stagnating water — the place that mosquitoes breed.
In late May, mosquito numbers in traps set by the division were very low, however, they did find a large population of biting gnats. These biting nuisances can be confused with mosquitoes. Many residents have also reported crane flies, which are harmless.
With recent rain storms, that situation may change. Mosquito professionals are working to control the tiny biting pests in parks and forests for hikers, walkers and bikers. In recent days, they have sprayed infested areas in Florham Park and Rockaway. Check the website for up-to-date spraying info.
“If everyone would take steps around their own homes to eliminate standing water, it could reduce the number of mosquitoes by many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, where you live,” said Morris County Mosquito Division Superintendent Kristian McMorland.
Residents can take the following steps to protect themselves and their families:
- Empty water from flowerpots, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels and cans once or twice a week.
- Clear clogged rain gutters.
- Remove containers or trash that may be difficult to see, such as under bushes, homes or around building exteriors.
- Dispose of unused tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers on your property.
- Drill holes in the bottom and elevate recycling containers left outdoors.
- Repair and clean storm-damaged roof gutters, particularly if leaves from surrounding trees clog drains. Roof gutters can produce millions of mosquitoes each season.
- Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
- Avoid allowing water to stagnate in bird baths.
- Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens become major mosquito producers if they stagnate.
- Use EPA-registered insect repellents when outdoors and wear protective clothing.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, including those not in use. An untended swimming pool can result in neighborhood-wide complaints. Be aware that mosquitoes may develop in water that collects on pool covers.
- Stay in air-conditioned places or rooms with window screens that prevent access by mosquitoes.
- If a mosquito problem remains after taking the above steps, call your county mosquito control agency for assistance. There are larval habitats that only a mosquito control program can properly address. Anyone with questions about mosquito control products or practices, click here.
For basic information on Morris County’s Mosquito Control operations, visit https://morriscountynj.gov/mosquito/info/.