Mosquito Control and Vector Biology

The New Jersey Mosquito Control Association, which is responsible for professional mosquito control in the state, maintains robust, county-by-county control programs to suppress mosquito and other vector-transmitted diseases.

Rutgers' Role

Rutgers' role in mosquito control is directed through the Center for Vector Biology, which provides research and information for the residents of New Jersey about insects, including mosquitoes, and the diseases they carry and transmit. Rutgers researchers have helped to develop a number of tools and integrated mosquito management methodologies and work closely with the county mosquito control programs, which perform the vast majority of the applied suppression services for state residents.

The center partners with New Jersey counties and state government, including the departments of Agriculture, Environmental Protection, and Health and Senior Services.

Recommendations for Residents

The type of mosquitoes and their impact on your daily activities will vary, depending on where you live in New Jersey. For instance, in heavily urbanized areas, residents will more likely be affected by pesky container breeders, while in coastal areas the salt marsh mosquito will be most prevalent and annoying.

But no matter where we live, there are some general guidelines we can all follow to minimize the incidence of mosquitoes and our exposure to the diseases they transmit:

  1. Remove all standing water from your yard by bringing indoors or emptying and cleaning all containers, even very small ones. For example, do not leave toys that can retain water outside; remove saucers from under flower pots; clean or remove pool covers; clean pools and add chlorinated water; cover rain barrels with mosquito proof netting; clean rain gutters and rain spouts.
  2. If you need to control adult mosquitoes in your yard, do not apply insecticides yourself. Instead, contact your county mosquito control officials. Mosquitoes have a long history of developing resistance to insecticides when applied incorrectly. Only a limited number of insecticides prove effective in mosquito control during disease outbreaks, therefore it is important that applications be made correctly by licensed county mosquito control officials with knowledge of the local mosquito populations and the necessary training to avoid the development of resistance.
  3. If you have standing water in your yard, you may apply insecticides yourself to control mosquitoes in the larval stage. Use products containing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and always follow the directions on the label.
  4. Help county-wide mosquito control programs by facilitating access to or through your yard for suppression and extermination activities. Often, access to areas producing large numbers of mosquitoes is gained through private property.
  5. Organize or participate in clean-up activities to pick up garbage from parks and other public spaces. By helping to limit potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes, every resident can contribute to reducing the nuisance caused by mosquitoes and stop the transmission of vector-borne diseases.

  1. Rutgers
  2. Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  3. School of Environmental and Biological Sciences