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West Nile Prevention Info for Property Owners

The Rutherford Health Department is encouraging property owners during the month of April to inspect their properties for sources of stagnant water that can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. With the warm weather approaching, it is anticipated that the West Nile Virus (WNV) will be returning to our area once again this year.

Since mosquitoes are the main mode of transmission to humans of the WNV, it is imperative that all sources of standing water be eliminated to reduce the breeding of mosquitoes. Mosquito breeding around the home can be decreased significantly by reducing the amount of standing water available.

The State Department of Environmental Protection has listed the following 10 ways to reduce mosquito breeding:

  • Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers that have accumulated on your property. Do not overlook containers that have become overgrown by aquatic vegetation.

  • Pay special attention to discarded tires that may have accumulated on your property. The used tire has become the most important domestic mosquito producer in this country.

  • Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left outdoors. Drainage holes that are located on the sides collect enough water for mosquitoes to breed in.

  • Clean clogged roof gutters on an annual basis, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug up the drains. Roof gutters are easily overlooked but can produce millions of mosquitoes each season.

  • Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use. A wading pool becomes a mosquito producer if it is not used on a regular basis.

  • Turn over wheelbarrows and do not allow water to stagnate in birdbaths. Both provide breeding habitat for domestic mosquitoes.

  • Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens are fashionable but become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate.

  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not being used. A swimming pool that is left untended by a family that goes on vacation for a month can produce enough mosquitoes to result in neighborhood-wide complaints. Be aware that mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on swimming pool covers.

  • Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property. Mosquitoes will develop in any puddle that lasts more than 4 days.

  • Maintain mechanical barriers (i.e. window and door screens) to prevent mosquitoes from entering buildings.

Residents with specific questions can contact the Rutherford Health Department weekdays between 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. at 201-460-3020 for assistance.