Mosquito Control

Mosquito Virus Information

Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

World Health Organization (WHO):

NJ Department of Health (NJDOH):

American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA):

About the Department
The Cape May County Department of Mosquito Control, formerly the Cape May County Mosquito Commission, has been in existence since 1915. The buildings and grounds are now used solely for mosquito surveillance and control operations but for a time housed German prisoners of war during World War II, and Civilian Conservation Corps workers during the FDR years.

Cape May County is a peninsula covering 277 square miles, 2/3 of which is comprised of marsh and woodlands. Much of these lands serve as habitat for the 45 species of mosquitoes found in the county. Our department consists of 13 full time employees who work year round performing a variety of tasks, all with the goal of suppressing mosquito activity in the county to a tolerable level. Additionally, 8 to 10 seasonal employees are hired between April and October.

The Cape May County Department of Mosquito Control's objective is to manage mosquito populations using an integrated control approach according to the New Jersey Health Statutes, Chapter 26:9; stressing environmental safety, economics, efficacy, research and surveillance in order to protect the health and welfare of the citizens and visitors of Cape May County.

Nuisance Factor
Everyone is aware of the nuisance factor mosquitoes create. This is especially important in Cape May County due to the influx of tourists during the summer season. In addition, mosquitoes are capable of transmitting disease. The Cape May County Department of Mosquito Control is acutely aware of this potential.

Equine Encephalitis & West Nile Virus
Consequently, a great deal of effort is spent on the surveillance and control of those mosquitoes directly involved in the transmission of eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile virus among others. Eastern equine encephalitis which once reached epidemic proportions as recently as 1959 now only rarely affects humans. This is due in great part to the work of the mosquito control department. West Nile Virus was first isolated in North America in 1999 and has since spread rapidly in all directions covering nearly all of the continent. While most recover from the disease, those that are elderly or have compromised immune systems may experience long term adverse effects or even death. Animals may also be adversely affected by mosquito borne diseases. Both West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis are also threats to horses not inoculated against these diseases.

In addition, dog heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes and in canines not under treatment with a preventative medicine, death may occur as the worms enlarge and collect in the heart. Dog heartworm appears to be almost exclusively a disease of dogs; other domestic animals and humans are for the most part immune to infection. If a disease is present in the mosquito, it exits and infects the host through injected saliva when the mosquito first bites. The majority of the time, this saliva simply creates the itch most of us associate with a mosquito bite. The resulting itch and welt is simply your body's reaction and defense to this small amount of foreign substance.