Burlington County is the largest and most populated county in New Jersey. And the Mosquito division for Burlington County handles mosquito population control for all of it.
What does the Burlington County Mosquito Commission do?
To get an idea of all that is involved, the Mosquito Commission annually sends helicopters through the woodlands area in the spring and planes to treat the marshes. This is typically a preventative measure. On the ground throughout the warm seasons, a team of inspectors, supervisors and epidemiologists (study of epidemics), do mosquito trapping and testing dozens of areas, and if positive for viruses, employs further low-risk spray treatment of Zenivex (a low risk pesticide) to target adult populations of mosquitoes.
Why is Mosquito Control Important?
It may seem like overkill, but over the last decade, Burlington County has seen instances of West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (Triple E). In 2012 an older Burlington County native died from West Nile Virus – though he also had other health complications.
Just last week, the Mosquito Commission tested 40 areas and spots in Moorestown and Mount Laurel showed positive for West Nile Virus among (Asian) Tiger mosquito populations. Erin Nooney is the head of the Mosquito Commission for Burlington County and he says that residents should not be alarmed as pesticide spraying is happening tonight for the Moorestown and Mount Laurel areas that had West Nile Virus positive tests.
What Can Residents Do to Prevent Mosquito Bourne Illnesses?
Container breeding mosquitoes and Tiger mosquitoes are hardest to control and develop as a result of standing water. While the Mosquito Commission can test and control large areas – a lot of the development happens in the nooks and crannies around residents’ yards and homes. Nooney says the biggest thing is get rid of standing water on your property. Gutters are big breeding grounds because leaves and twigs clog up the pipes creating standing water. Other areas to consider are kids toys that stay unmoved outside, tarps or plastic bags — anything laying around in a yard that may collect water.
Residents can also fill out a mosquito control complaint form. Noony says this form creates a ticket and is queued up for investigation and treatment. He mentioned that as they only have 6 inspectors serviing all of Burlington County, the complaint form is a useful way for them to find out about new areas that have low standing water or are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.