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State of New Jersey - Department of Environmental Protection-Mosquito Control & West Nile Virus
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Our Programs

Water Management
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 areas.

The commission has provided state aid to various county mosquito control agencies to support water management projects since 1956.

Vector Surveillance
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.

Mosquito Airspray
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 animal health.

Biological Control
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.

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Last Updated: June 23, 2020