About DPW

About Environmental Affairs

The mission of Essex County’s Division of Environmental Affairs is to provide effective, safe, economical, and environmentally friendly management of mosquito populations throughout the county.

As the first mosquito control agency established in the state of New Jersey in 1912, the Division of Environmental Affairs has been working to protect the residents of Essex County from mosquito-borne diseases since the birth of mosquito control in New Jersey over 100 years ago.  The Division utilizes an Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) which provides for a balanced approach to controlling this pest, thereby reducing the annoyance and threat of disease carried by this insect.

We realize that the elimination of all mosquitoes is nearly impossible, and as a result we utilize an integrated mosquito management plan to reduce populations to more tolerable levels. The agency performs “all acts which in its opinion may be necessary for the elimination of mosquito breeding areas, or which will tend to exterminate mosquitoes within the county.”  A comprehensive surveillance program guides the agencies activities and control is emphasized on the elimination of mosquito-breeding habitat and eradication of mosquitoes when they are still in the aquatic stages of their development.  Surveillance for mosquito borne diseases concentrates on the West Nile virus, but may also include Eastern equine encephalitis and Saint Louis encephalitis along with any emerging diseases of concern in the future.

Our website is meant to provide information on our approach and operating philosophy, current activities, general information about insecticides we may use, how to request for inspection, links to other sources of information about mosquito control along with general information for homeowners on reducing sources of mosquitoes around the house. Our personnel pride themselves on conducting a professional surveillance and control program across the county, and continuing to provide that service in the future.


When is the Division active?

Mosquito control is a year round activity.  Generally, the seasonal control operations start in March with the hatching of snowpool mosquito species and continue into November until the temperatures drop significantly. 

Although the Division of Environmental Affairs is most active during the summer season, many activities are also undertaken during the winter.  Follow-up record keeping on the season’s mosquito activity at all the larval sites continues beyond the active mosquito season.  The inspection routes are revised, surveillance data analyzed to identify areas of high mosquito populations and virus activity, appropriate permits are pursued, equipment is maintained, and plans and protocols revised for the following season.  Public education is also another important component of the activities of the Division of Environmental Affairs. Agency personnel are available for mosquito education presentations at local schools and community and civic centers. 

Message from the Division Superintendent

In these pages, you will find information regarding the surveillance and control of mosquito species throughout Essex County, New Jersey. Our division works to ensure that residents of the county are able to remain free of the nuisances and health hazards potentially caused by mosquitoes. We have provided as much information as possible, along with links to other sources for information on mosquito control. If you have any questions unanswered, please contact me at ewilliges@essexcountynj.org.

Sincerely,
Eric Williges
Superintendent, Essex County Division of Environmental Affairs


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