The spread and infection of the West Nile Virus are still serious threats that we should not take lightly here in Hudson County. Already in the counties of Essex, Morris and Middlesex, mosquitoes have tested positive for the West Nile Virus, posing a potential threat to surrounding counties.
It is for this reason that a major part of this year's mosquito control efforts in Hudson County is education and awareness. The County will be informing residents, through outreach efforts, about the public health problem associated with the mosquito population and encouraging residents to assist in the County's mosquito control surveillance initiatives. The Hudson County Office of Mosquito Control has developed multi-language mosquito brochures and fact sheets to familiarize residents about the West Nile Virus.
We at the County understand the importance of getting everyone involved in our mosquito control efforts. Increasing public awareness and encouraging residents to do their part will only help to reenforce what we are doing to control the mosquito population in the county. In addition, the public's awareness of the health benefits associated with safe, professionally applied mosquito control methods will support our efforts as well as motivate the public to eliminate mosquito breeding sites on their own property.
Hudson County residents need to understand that they must do their part and take every precautionary measure to protect themselves and families from spreading or being infected with the West Nile Virus. Reducing the risk of being infected with the West Nile Virus can be done by following these simple procedures:
Eliminate mosquito breeding habitats around the home by eliminating all containers of standing water such as tires, cans, buckets, clogged rain gutters, birdbaths and pool covers.
Avoid shady areas and brush where mosquitoes may be at rest.
Repair or replace screens on windows and doors.
Limit activities outdoors during dawn, evening and dusk hours.
Using insect repellants containing 20-30 percent of DEET and wearing proper attire such as long sleeve shirts and pants offer additional protection.
Using caution when applying insect repellants on infants and on children. Consider the use of an insect repellant containing 10 percent less DEET. Also, avoid applying repellants on children's hands or around the mouth and eyes areas.
By following these simple precautions, you and your family will help to provide a safe and wonderful summer.
Mosquito control efforts in the county of Hudson have been extremely successful in the past, contributing to the prevention of the West Nile Virus from becoming a human, and avian health issue in Hudson County. This year, the mosquito control unit has increased surveillance of the wetlands in known breeding areas, in addition to working with the Towns of Secaucus and Kearny to increase pre-treatment application of larvicide briquets in Hudson County's largest breeding areas. Larviciding is considered the preferred treatment option, destroying mosquitoes during their early part of their life-cycle, before they become flying adults.
The Mosquito Control Unit has already conducted four helicopter larviciding applications in the County. The products we use are only toxic to larval mosquitoes, and the treatments are done in non-populated areas. The County's main focus is attacking mosquitoes before they become adults and can multiply, thus diminishing the population.
Residents who are interested in finding out additional information or have further questions can contact the following local and state agencies:
Hudson County Mosquito Control Unit, 201-915-1373; Hudson Regional Health Commission, 201-223-1133; Rutgers University Mosquito Research and Control Unit, 732-932-9437; State Mosquito Control Commission, 609-292-3649; Centers for Disease Control, www.cdc.gov
Residents can also contact their respective Municipal Health Departments, which the Hudson County Control Unit has been collectively working with for the past several years.
In addition to the County's efforts, the Hudson County Improvement Authority (HCIA) is sponsoring a tire collection program, which encourages residents to get rid of old tires that can act as breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Businesses and residents interested in disposing old tires can contact HCIA recycling coordinator Nicholas Staniewicz at 201-795-4555.
The key to ensuring a summer free of the West Nile Virus is through a collaborative effort, not just on the part of our local municipalities, the state and county, but by the active participation of our local residents. I urge all Hudson County residents to do their part and join us in the fight against the West Nile Virus.
Robert C. Janiszewski
Hudson County Executive