NJ county uses fish to curb mosquitoes

August 3, 2009 3:02:13 PM PDT
One New Jersey county wants mosquitoes to sleep with the fishes. Bergen County has dumped 30,000 fish in abandoned and stagnant swimming pools in foreclosed homes to help curb the insects, and also in stagnant rainwater pockets.

"It's been a very wet, cooler summer this year, and the mosquitoes are just mutiplying like crazy," Freeholder Juile O'Brien said.

Mosquitofish eat mosquito larvae and pupae, so now, they're getting the feast of their lives. It's their favorite meal.

"The fish are doing fantastic, they're eating the mosquitoes that come to lay eggs and all the new mosquitoes, they're doing fine," said Pete Pluchino, the director of Paramus Mosquio Control.

Foreclosed homes that have pools or ponds are adding greatly to the mosquito problem and affecting the entire neighbrohood.

"Horrible! We couldn't sit in the backyard, the baby was being bitten all over the place," said resident Johnny Herring.

Even with the bumper crop of mosquitoes, Pluchino says no cases of West Nile Virus or any mosquito-borne illnesses have been reported in New Jersey.

Officials say wet weather in June and July has made it a busy summer for mosquitoes. The county's mosquito control office usually receives about 500 calls for help this time of year. They've already had about 1,000 calls.


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