Still getting bites? New Jersey’s mosquito season is lasting longer
We're not the only ones enjoying the milder-than-usual October in New Jersey this year.
Mosquitoes are still hanging around comfortably — due to rainfall events that drenched parts of the Garden State over the past several weeks, and a broader trend that has created a longer mosquito season.
"Extended seasons are a real problem that we're just going to have to deal with," said Scott Crans, administrator for the New Jersey Office of Mosquito Control Coordination, part of the state Department of Environmental Protection.
With a general warming of the climate, Crans said, species of mosquitoes that typically hang out further south are inching their way up north into New Jersey and elsewhere.
New Jersey is home to more than 60 different species of mosquitoes. At least three exotic species have taken residence here, Crans said.
"It's becoming more of a challenge to manage these mosquitoes over the entire season," Crans said. "When you have a year like we just went through, the mosquitoes are numerous all over, and the programs have to work all over."
Counties in New Jersey were spraying for mosquitoes as recently as a few days ago, according to news releases.
A bad year for mosquitoes was anticipated ahead of summer 2021. Making matters worse, the remnants of Ida in early September dumped several inches of rain in the northern and western portions of the state, creating an ideal environment for plenty of species that call New Jersey home.
"The frequency of rain has kept these puddles wet, so it's been really good for permanent water mosquitoes, and then the container species have also done really well because of the constant rain refilling all of those artificial containers," Crans said.
Standing water in something as small as a bottle cap can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
"The season's starting earlier and lasting a little bit longer, it's just a challenge in general," Crans said. "It gives the mosquitoes more time to pick up a virus, to amplify it, and to spread it."
Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org