Mosquitos Menace Maplewood
Throughout the township, 2012 is "The Summer of Swatting."
If you have noticed more mosquitoes than usual this summer, you are not imagining it. This has been a particularly prolific season for the annoying -- and occasionally disease-carrying -- insects.
"They're ruining summer," said Maplewood resident Marcy Thompson. "Basically, we just stay inside."
Sarah Gifford, who lives on Ridgewood Road, said, "We've been mauled. Citronella candles aren't cutting it."
"We can't go outside," said Mindy Catron of Melman Terrace. "I'm trapped in my house."
"All parts of town have been affected," said director of the Maplewood Health Department Robert Roe, who posted an update on the township website on Tuesday to report how the township is addressing the issue.
Essex County Mosquito Control has been trapping and testing mosquitoes throughout the township, and is also conducting light fogging of insecticide. The control has discovered many Asian Tiger mosquitoes, which Roe described as "very aggressive small mosquitoes that will bite even in broad daylight," as well as culex mosquitoes, which are primary carriers of the West Nile virus.
"West Nile disease can range from being very mild to life threatening, especially in older people," said Roe.
Roe said the most crucial action people can take to reduce mosquitoes on their property is to get rid of stagnant water sources, such as old tires. "Put them inside the garage where they will stay dry," said Roe. Residents can also get coupons from Town Hall that allow them to bring tires to the recycling center.
He urged residents to contact Essex County Mosquito Control at 973-239-3366 x2480 to report mosquito activity in their neighborhood.