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How Do We Control Mosquitoes

All mosquito control actions start with surveillance. The Commission conducts surveillance for adult mosquitoes, larval mosquitoes, and mosquito-borne disease. The Commission employs different types of mosquito traps​ to monitor the abundance of the adult mosquito populations and for the presence of disease in those mosquito populations. Mosquito larvae are monitored by visually inspecting stagnant water sources for larvae using a dipper.

Public education is an essential part of any mosquito control program encourages the public to practice source reduction around their homes and protect themselves from mosquito-borne disease at home and when traveling. The Commission attends large public events as well as provides classroom lectures to schools and other groups.

In many instances, stormwater facilities such as ditches may get clogged and create a mosquito habitat. The Commission’s Water Management Program may take actions to return the flow to the structure, which eliminates the larval habitat and the need for insecticides. Tires also make an excellent habitat for certain mosquito species and hundreds of tires are illegally dumped in Middlesex County every year. By removing illegally dumped tires, the Commission staff eliminate mosquito habitat. The Commission also stocks mosquito-eating fish in small ponds that may otherwise breed mosquitoes. While not eliminating the habitat, the fish are able to control the mosquitoes without the need for insecticides.

There are 318 square miles in Middlesex County. Fortunately, not all of this area can produce mosquitoes because mosquitoes develop only in aquatic habitats that hold water continuously for at least seven to ten days. These water habitats can vary greatly. They can be freshwater swamps, stagnant water, salt marsh depressions, floodwater, and water within any type of container.

Over 14,000 (potential) larval habitat sites are inspected and serviced on a regular basis by the Mosquito Commission. The Commission’s NJDEP-licensed Inspectors regularly check these sites for mosquitoes and treat them with insecticides when mosquitoes are found. Many of these sources are large floodplains and swamps capable of periodically producing a great number of mosquitoes. Due their size and lack of accessibility they are best treated by aircraft.

The Commission monitors mosquito populations​ and diseases in the mosquito populations throughout the mosquito season using specia​lized traps. Should an infected mosquito be found or if mosquito populations exceed thresholds, insecticides are applied for adult mosquitoes (“adulticides”). To find out if an application is planned for your area visit our Spray Schedule page.

Mosquito Extermination Commission
200 Parsonage Road, Edison, NJ 08837
Ph: (732) 549-0665​
Fax: (732) 603-0280
Hours: ​7:00AM to 3:30PM, Mon-Fri
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