‘Mosquito Eating’ Fish Stocked in Retention Basins: Other measures ramped up to fight mosquitoes this season
(West Deptford, NJ) – As Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger, Freeholder Heather Simmons and Freeholder Frank J. DiMarco helped stock retention basins in the county with 10,000 Gambusia Affinis, a fish that eat the larvae of mosquitoes, they announced that every aspect of the County's mosquito fighting weapons will be increased.
Freeholder Director Damminger said, "Zika Virus is in the news and on everyone’s mind. By stocking retention basins with these natural predators to mosquito larvae we are combating mosquitoes, which can carry Zika and other viruses."
Damminger said that Gloucester County is using an Integrated Mosquito Management program to control the mosquito population. This program uses various techniques that include surveillance, larvicide, adulticide, and public awareness to help reduce mosquito breeding grounds.
“We have basically ramped up all of our efforts against mosquito breeding,” said Damminger.
Freeholder Heather Simmons, Liaison to the Department of Public Works said that the Gambusia Affinis were part of the larvicide aspect of the program that kills mosquito larvae in standing water.
“Larvicide is very effective and it is a green method of reducing the mosquito population. Our Mosquito Control Division is at work throughout the year conducting surveillance and fighting mosquito breeding grounds,” Simmons said. “If our Mosquito Control Division was not working on this issue throughout the year our summers would be unbearable,” stated Simmons.
Simmons said that the County Division of Mosquito Control has increased larvicide sites this year and will utilize additional Public Works employees as needed to help increase the manpower when above average mosquito populations are detected, disease detection, heavy rainfall, and or when large number of service requests have been received from the same central location.
This year’s fish will be released in 18 basins throughout West Deptford, Washington Township, Elk, Greenwich, East Greenwich, Glassboro, Elk and Deptford. State Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife provided the mosquito eating fish annually and the county distributes them.
Freeholder Frank DiMarco said, “Fighting mosquitoes has definitely changed over the last decade and so have the diseases that mosquitoes can carry. Zika is a potentially dangerous mosquito borne illness and we need to fight it on all levels. In addition to what we do on the government level, people need to take protective measures to reduce mosquito bites. Some of the actions resident can take are simple yet important.”
DiMarco said that residents should monitor their property for any containers holding water and address by emptying daily; cover or drill holes in the bottom of the container if needed.
Make certain that swimming pools are clean and sanitized. And maintain mechanical barriers such as window screening.
The Gloucester County Mosquito Control Division receives and responds to requests from County residents, schools, businesses and organizations and will provide application of EPA approved pesticides upon request.
Mosquito Control can be reached Monday through Friday, 8:00 am- 4:00 pm at: (856) 307-6400.
The Gloucester County Health Department will investigate and/or work closely with local officials to assure abatement of conditions that support mosquito breeding habitats, such as standing water. Contact the Gloucester County Health Department with any concerns and/or complaints, Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm at: (856) 218-4170.
24/7 Call Center For Zika:
The New Jersey Department of Health and the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES) have opened a public call center for individuals who have questions about Zika. The call center is open 24 hours a day and is staffed by professionals who can answer questions from the general public and health care professionals in any language.
The call center telephone number is: (800) 962-1253