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Concerns About Mosquitoes

(Flickr User: fairfaxcounty)

The possibility of contracting West Nile Encephalitis remains alive and well at the Jersey shore, after several dead birds and mosquitoes tested positive last year. Ocean County Health Department Spokeswoman Leslie Terjesen said there were no reported human contractions last year. 

However, concerns about the mosquito population rises following summer showers, rain and thunderstorms where areas of water can pool and become stagnant. Terjesen advises homeowners to check their properties for areas of standing water.

“You really need to walk around your property and look for any areas that can collect rain or sprinkler water, clogged gutters or flower pots, even bottle caps.”

She also advises folks to cut grass and bushes, empty kiddy pools and bird baths weekly or drill holes in tire swings to keep water from building inside.

Window screens should also be checked for holes to prevent mosquitoes from coming in doors.

Residents can also help eliminate the threat of West Nile by reporting dead birds, so that they can be picked up and tested at a state lab in Trenton.

“As soon as we receive a dead bird, what we do is call the Ocean County Mosquito Commission and we let them know where the bird was found. They certainly look for mosquito larva in those areas to try to eliminate it,” said Terjesen.

Terjesen also advises that you wear mosquito repellent with Deet if you plan to be outside for any period of time because the insect is out day and night looking for a blood meal.

The Ocean County Health Department provides more information about West Nile Virus at its website through a CDC link.

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