MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – Morris County Mosquito Control is working through 1,028 calls to combat mosquito infestations since the day after remnants of Hurricane Ida ripped through New Jersey.
For a normal September, 100 requests for spraying would be a lot.
“We should be winding down, but coming off the super wet summer and two hurricanes in a row, it’s monumental. If you live near one of the river systems or tributaries where there was mass flooding, that’s where we are having problems with mosquitoes,” said Kris McMorland, Director of Morris County Mosquito Control. “When we find clusters, we do a town-wide treatment, getting areas under control to give residents as much normalcy as possible.”
His division inspectors will go to every site necessary to mitigate problem areas, although the scourge of mosquitoes will not end until the first frosts arrive sometime in mid-October, McMorland said. Staff members are administering adulticide treatments via ATVs, trucks and back packs, and hand-spreading treatments for larval control.
Long Hill, Lincoln Park, Montville, East Hanover, Denville and Parsippany are among the worst hit towns, according to McMorland.
Large areas are treated at night, however, as nighttime temperatures drop, the mosquito-combating product is not as effective. On the bright side, as days get cooler and shorter, mosquitoes turn themselves off. Depending on the species — and we have a few in New Jersey — some adult mosquitoes hibernate and some will overwinter in egg stage until they get wet and then hatch – up to five years later. The trouble this year was the arrival of two back-to-back hurricanes.
“Henri never dried down and then Ida landed on top. It’s been an extremely wet summer, with three months of rain falling in two weeks. Lincoln Park had 10 inches,” McMorland said.
Mosquitoes thrive in standing water, breeding every five to seven days. McMorland’s stock advice for residents is to do their part by dumping standing water around their yards because that is where mosquitoes breed. But this year requires additional safeguards. McMorland advises using repellent, wearing long sleeves and long pants and minimizing time outside during dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
Aggressive Asian Tiger mosquitoes are spreading throughout the county, yard by yard, favoring man-made structures and carrying disease. Dog lovers, take heart: The type of mosquitoes that cause canine heartworm are more active during the spring.
“Every request is answered. The staff is doing its best to keep up,”McMorland said.