Will NJ get another early start to mosquito season?
⚫ Dozens of mosquito species call New Jersey home
⚫ Mosquito eggs need rain and warmth to get moving
⚫ County offices are making their plans to treat for the pests
Millions of mosquito eggs are sitting in marshes, puddles, tires, flower pots, and other spots across the Garden State, waiting to turn into adults and harass residents.
As we inch closer to spring, New Jersey experts are keeping an eye on temperatures and precipitation to determine whether mosquito season will get an early start in 2023, like it did in 2022.
"If we get rain and we have the right temperatures, the eggs could start to hatch earlier than what would typically be expected," said George Hamilton, extension specialist in pest management with Rutgers Cooperative Extension.
The driving force of mosquito activity is water — some eggs have been sitting in water since the fall, while others are designed to dry out and then become active when waters return. The right combo of wet and steady warm can get things moving sooner than usual.
Mosquito season in New Jersey typically runs April to October, but that can start earlier, and that start date can differ from one county to the next.
"We will start treating areas in early April on a regular basis," said Vicki Thompson, superintendent of the Monmouth County Mosquito Control Division. "If we have a warmer spell and things are developing quickly, then we will start treating earlier."
Mosquito control offices in every county try to take care of the pests while they're still in their larval stage, rather than try to battle the adult versions.
New Jersey is home to dozens of mosquito species, but officials and residents need to only worry about a fraction of them — the ones that bite humans and can spread disease.
Activity throughout the season will depend on the frequency and amount of rainfall events.
Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at email@example.com
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