County combats West Nile Virus in Atlantic Highlands, Middletown, Lake Como, West Belmar and Spring Lake
Monmouth County’s Mosquito Control Department has discovered evidence of the West Nile Virus in Atlantic Highlands and the Hillside section of Middletown.
Residential streets in Atlantic Highlands east of First Avenue to Sears Avenue and north to E. Washington Avenue in Atlantic Highlands, and from Portland Avenue to Grand Avenue north of Hillside Avenue in the Hillside section of Middletown will be ground sprayed on Tuesday morning July 26 from 4 a.m. till 6 a.m., weather permitting, according to an announcement by Deputy Freeholder Director Serena DiMaso.
The spraying program that has been ongoing since the Spring in Lake Como and the West Belmar section of Wall Township will continue, also on the morning of the 26th. Residential streets south of 17th Avenue between Highway 35 and Route 71 in Lake Como and Wall Township, on residential streets north of Wall Road between Highway 35 and Route 71 in Spring Lake Heights and in Marucci Park in Spring Lake.
“The goal of the ground spray program is to reduce the public health risk from WNV in the area. We have already seen evidence that the previous spraying operations have reduced the number of mosquitoes in the southern Monmouth towns where the sprays occurred,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, liaison to the Mosquito Control division. “It is also important to remember to always protect yourself from mosquitoes by wearing insect repellant when outdoors, even if it is only for a few minutes.”
Weather permitting, the Mosquito Control staff will conduct the operation. Spraying will not be conducted in the event of wind speeds in excess of 10 mph or inclement weather. Weather cancellation will be posted to the Mosquito Control section of the County website and hotline phone number 732-578-1600.
As a precautionary measure, residents in the area scheduled for the control operation should remain inside and protect pets during the time sprayers are in the area. To further limit their exposure, residents should bring in children’s toys and pet bowls and turn off the intake fan in window air conditioners.
The application will be made using truck-mounted ultra-low volume equipment dispensing a very fine mist of the pesticide Zenivex® 4E RTU. Zenivex® contains a pesticide called Etofenprox, a member of the category of pesticides called non-ester pyrethroids, which are synthetic versions of pesticides produced by plants called pyrethrins.
Zenivex is a non-ester pyrethroids-based pesticide product that is used to control mosquitoes in outdoor residential and recreational areas.
People who become infected with WNV are most often bitten by an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected with WNV when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to humans and other animals.
“It is important to learn the ways to reduce your risk of being bitten by a mosquito,” said DiMaso. “There are many insect-borne diseases and taking steps to reduce your risk of getting bitten could save your life. We are reminding people to Fight the Bite by wearing protectant and removing standing water from their properties.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says people can reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes and, as a result, lower their exposure to insect-borne diseases by following some simple steps:
When outdoors, apply insect repellent, following the label instructions – especially for use on children;
Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever possible, and
Avoid outdoor activity at peak mosquito times – dusk and dawn.
When enjoying the outdoors, whether at home or while traveling, make sure to always wear insect repellent. Repellents that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus will help protect you and your family from both ticks and mosquitoes.
Removing all areas of standing water in and around homes and businesses will stop mosquitoes from breeding. Prior to removal, standing water can be treated with pesticides to kill mosquito larvae.
“Seven days plus standing water equals mosquitos,” said DiMaso. “Mosquitos breed where there is standing water. So, turnover any unused flower pots and outdoor toys. If you have old tires on your property, they should be emptied of standing water and recycled if they are no longer needed. Store them in a shed or basement if you must keep the tires. ”
WNV is an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes. WNVcan cause febrile (fever) illness, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). WNV was first detected in North America in 1999.