Source reduction, or water management, is viewed as
the most efficient method of mosquito control. In general,
water management can be defined as the enhancement of
the environment to reduce or eliminate those habitats
favorable to mosquito production.
Although water management techniques vary depending
upon the mosquito species and their breeding habitats,
all accomplish two major objectives: (1)they provide
long term or permanent control, and (2)they eliminate
the need for the repeated use of chemicals in the managed
The commission has provided state aid to various county
mosquito control agencies to support water management
projects since 1956.
Since 1976, a partnership with all twenty-one county mosquito control agencies and Rutgers University has monitored Eastern
Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus activity in New Jersey
mosquitoes, with funding from the commission. EEE is
a mosquito-borne disease that frequently infects wild
birds, horses and in some cases, humans. The mosquitoes
involved in its transmission are collected at specific
sites in the state and with commission funding are tested
by the Department of Health PHEAL laboratory for the EEE virus. Mosquito
control agencies are updated weekly during the active
season on the status of EEE and its mosquito vectors. In response to the West Nile Virus outbreak, this disease is also monitored via support from the State Mosquito Control Commission.
State Equipment Use
Various types of equipment, ranging from specialized
low-ground pressure hydraulic excavators to laboratory
equipment, are available to county mosquito control
agencies and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment
Station for mosquito related research and control projects.
The Office of Mosquito Control Coordination administers
this program with funds appropriated annually by the
commission. The commission also assists with the reimbursement of the expense of repairs to this equipment. Over 130 pieces of equipment are available
free-of-charge to mosquito control agencies statewide.
Funded by the commission and administered by the Office
of Mosquito Control Coordination, This program provides
a variety of contracted aircraft for the application
of larvicides and adulticides spread over large or inaccessible
areas. All aerial applications are directed toward confirmed
mosquito populations which have the potential to create
a major public nuisance or pose a threat to human and
With biological control, natural predators or parasites
are used to eliminate or control the target pest. A
natural predator, the mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis),
has greatly aided the commission's goals. The commission also raises four additional fish species: fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), freshwater killfish (Fundulus diaphanus), pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus) and bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), for biological control in areas where the mosquitofish can not be released. With commission
funding, the fish are raised at the Division of Fish
and Wildlife's Charles O. Hayford Hatchery in Hackettstown
and distributed, at no charge, to county mosquito control
agencies. Where practical, these fish control mosquito
populations and reduce the need for pesticides. Current the bio-control program is conducting, with assistance of several county mosquito control agencies and the Department of Agriculture's Beneficial Insect Laboratory, a project to assess the use of copepods as another biological control tool.
Research and Development
The commission annually allocates funds to support mosquito-related
research. The provision of funds and use of state-owned
equipment for research has been an investment primarily
geared toward the development of more environmentally-sound
mosquito control methods in New Jersey. In the past,
This research has focused on mosquito biology, mosquito-borne
disease, pesticide use, and impacts of mosquito control
activities on the state's wetlands.
The commission normally meets on a monthly basis in
Trenton. In addition, the commissioners also participate
in various meetings, seminars, and conferences with
local, county, state and federal officials to address
mosquito control-related programs, services and issues
in the state.