For additional information on efforts underway in Bergen County, please call the hotline at 201-225-7000 or visit the Bergen Health website and click on "West Nile Virus".
Bergen County Mosquito Control Program is based on a system of "Integrated Pest Management" consisting of surveillance source reduction, water management, and biological and chemical control.
Mosquito Control in Bergen County is an ongoing, year round program.
In early spring, the surveillance and application program begins. Surveillance entails looking for larvae and applying materials to prevent hatching.
After the pre-season is completed, a regularly scheduled inspection and control program begins in the eleven districts covering the 70 municipalities.
Nearly 4000 specific breeding sites are routinely inspected and larvae is collected and identified.
If mosquito larvae is found, Bacillus Thuringiensis (BTI) is applied. BTI is a selected larvicide which affects mosquito and black fly larvae and causes no harm to
- Beneficial insects
- Marine life
During the warmer months, mosquito breeding habitats are stocked with Gambusia, a small fish with a hearty appetite for mosquito larvae. During this time a variety of traps are installed county-wide to monitor the adult mosquito population.
Adulticiding to control the adult population is only done when necessary, from a truck or hand held unit, not by helicopter, in response to adult mosquito surveillance and identification.
Biological Control Program
The NJ State Mosquito Control Commission funds a Biological Control Program which uses five species of mosquito-eating fish which are raised at the DEP’s Division of Fish, and Wildlife’s Charles O. Hayford Hatchery in Hackettstown.
These fish are distributed at no charge to county mosquito control agencies. Where practical, these fish control mosquito populations and reduce the need for pesticides.
During the winter months, hand labor and heavy equipment is used to clear and desilt ditches, streams and ponds to allow for free movement of water. Tide-gates and dikes are inspected and repaired to prevent flooding of low-lying areas and water in ditches and brooks are lowered to minimize mosquito breeding.
MOSQUITO PREVENTION TIPS
Bergen County Executive James J.Tedesco Encourages Residents to Take Simple Precautions
It’s time to take important steps to protect yourself and your family against West Nile Virus (WNV) infection and mosquito annoyance in general.
WNV is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, so it’s important to take steps to prevent getting mosquito bites and to clean or remove items on your property that can serve as mosquito breeding grounds.
Individuals can take a number of measures around the home to help eliminate mosquito-breeding areas, including:
• Dispose of cans, buckets, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar containers that hold water on your property.
• Properly dispose of discarded tires that can collect water. Stagnant water is where most mosquitoes breed.
• Drill drainage holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers.
• Clean clogged roof gutters every year, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees tend to plug drains.
• Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
• Turn over wheelbarrows and don’t let water stagnate in birdbaths.
• Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools not in use and remove any water that may collect on pool covers.
For stagnant pools of water, homeowners can buy Bti products at lawn and garden, outdoor supply, home improvement and other stores. This naturally occurring bacteria kills mosquito larva, but is safe for people, pets, aquatic life and plants.
Additionally, these simple precautions can prevent mosquito bites, particularly for people who are most at risk:
• Make sure screens fit tightly over doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out of homes.
• Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors, particularly when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, or in areas known for having large numbers of mosquitoes.
• When possible, reduce outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk during peak mosquito periods, usually April through October.
• Use insect repellants according to the manufacturer’s instructions. An effective repellant will contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Consult with a pediatrician or family physician if you have questions about the use of repellent on children, as repellant is not recommended for children under the age of two months.
WNV is an arboviral disease which people can acquire through the bite of a mosquito that has fed on an infected bird. WNV is not directly transmitted from birds to humans. About one in 150 persons, or less than 1 percent of those infected with West Nile virus will develop a more severe form of the disease. Symptoms of more serious illness include severe headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.
The elderly are at higher risk of more severe disease. Bergen County’s WNV surveillance, control, and prevention activities involve the coordinated efforts of a number of federal, state and local agencies. These include DHSS, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State Mosquito Control Commission, the Rutgers Center for Vector Biology, local and Bergen County Health Departments, and of course our Bergen County Department of Public Works Division of Mosquito Control.
For more information about mosquito control in Bergen County,
call the Health Hotline: 201-225-7000 or visit the website
To contact the Bergen County Division of Mosquito Control about a mosquito problem, call 201-634-2880.