Flood Cleanup's New Woe: Mosquitoes

Flooded counties battle mosquitoes pond by pond

By Brian Thompson
|  Friday, Sep 9, 2011  |  Updated 4:28 PM EDT
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Flood Cleanup's New Woe: Mosquitoes

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First came the winds, then the rains, followed by floods, and more rains. Now, nature is finishing the job begun by Irene and Lee with a barrage of mosquitoes.

Sandra Willis, a flooded homeowner in Parsippany-Troy Hills, N.J., knows all too well that they've come out in force, and has been getting chewed while sorting through her home's damage.

"We got bit working here, but if you wanted to clean up you really had no choice," Willis said.

In Passaic County, N.J., the Mosquito Control Office went into emergency status this past Sunday to mobilize its workers in Pompton Lakes.

"I called my staff and I got six people out and we worked for approximately four hours," said Eric Green, director of mosquito control.

On a daily basis, he directs his staff to attack well-known standing pools of water with a bacteriological agent called Vectolex. Green says it only attacks larval eggs and does not harm the environment.

The most obvious health danger from mosquitoes is that they can carry West Nile Virus.

And the most dangerous time for infection is late summer and early fall.

But they are also pests, and in warm weather, love to breed in any standing water, even pails, toys or water caught in a tarp.

"Mosquitoes have been known to lay eggs and breed successfully in a bottle cap," Green warned.

Follow Brian Thompson on Twitter @brian4NY

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