TRENTON, N.J. – Local governments will receive state aid for mosquito control efforts under a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Parker Space and signed into law on Friday.
“New Jerseyans are blessed to be able to experience so many different environments from dense forests to vast wetlands, but with that natural beauty comes bugs like mosquitoes. They are more than just annoying pests,” Space (R-Sussex) said. “Mosquitoes transmit diseases that can make people and livestock very sick. This funding will help protect communities from mosquito-borne illnesses.”
Experts say that New Jersey’s weather conditions have contributed to a longer mosquito season. In general, the longer the season lasts the more opportunities mosquitoes have to get and transmit viruses. One-third of the 63 species of mosquito that call the Garden State home feed on human blood.
According to the state Health Department’s vector-borne illness report, there were 71 cases of malaria and 36 cases of West Nile virus in humans last year. Five people died as a result of contracting West Nile from a mosquito bite. People with malaria often experience fever, chills, and flu-like illness. Most people with West Nile virus do not experience symptoms, but a few people can get severe illness and develop central nervous system complications, which may cause death.
Space’s bill (A3898) appropriates $3 million for local mosquito control, research, administration and operations throughout New Jersey.