Established in 1913 as the Hudson County Mosquito Extermination Commission, Hudson County has one of the oldest mosquito control programs in the country. In 1971 the program was transferred to the Hudson County Department of Public Resources. In 2004 the county empowered the Hudson Regional Health Commission with providing mosquito control services for the county. Today the program is known as the Hudson Regional Mosquito and Vector Control Program.
Although primarily urban, there are a surprising variety of mosquito habitats in Hudson County. The county is a peninsula bounded by Newark Bay and the Passaic and Hackensack Rivers on the west, by the Hudson River and New York Harbor on the east, by the Kill Van Kull on the south and by Bergen County on the north. The Hackensack River bisects the county and is surrounded by a 10,000 acre wetland tidal marsh known as the Hackensack Meadowlands. As a result, the highest population density in the state is positioned in a county in which 25% of the total physical area is either permanently or periodically under water. Tidal wetlands provide ideal conditions for Aedes sollicitans. Permanent pockets within these wetlands produce Culex salinarius in abundance. Inland marshes produce large numbers of Aedes vexans. In addition, neglected drainage ditches and culverts give rise to expansive populations of Culex pipiens. The proximity of so many people to such expansive acreage of water capable of mosquito production validates the need for a comprehensive mosquito control program.
Protect the citizens and visitors of Hudson County from mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus
Minimize the negative impact of nuisance mosquitoes on outdoor recreational activities.
Utilize integrated mosquito management principles to provide a comprehensive program that is operationally effective, environmentally sensitive, and fiscally responsible.
Our Inspectors routinely check over 250 sites in Hudson County for the presence of mosquito larvae. This helps us identify the sources of the mosquitoes. When larvae are found the site is treated to kill the larvae.
We maintain a series of adult mosquito traps positioned throughout the county. These traps give us information such as the species of mosquitoes present and their numbers. This information is used to determine when adult control is necessary.
The most important part of our program is monitoring for diseases such as West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. We use special traps to collect female mosquitoes that have already taken blood. These mosquitoes are then identified and tested for viruses.
A relatively small body of water can produce thousands of mosquitoes. By targeting those sources we can eliminate huge numbers of mosquitoes at one time before they become adults. We use low impact products such as bacteria and insect growth regulators
When large populations of adult mosquitoes emerge, or when disease transmission is a concern, we apply adulticides to reduce the number of adult mosquitoes quickly. We use short-lived low toxicity products for our adult control.
Many bodies of water in Hudson County have naturally occurring populations of killifish or "killies" which will eat mosquito larvae. When these fish are absent, we can stock waters with the mosquito fish Gambusia affinis. This fish is an effective predator of mosquito larvae and in some cases can eliminate mosquitoes from an area without the use of pesticides.
Illegally dumped tires are a big problem in Hudson County. Not just from a pollution standpoint, but because of the mosquitoes they produce. During the off season, we focus on collecting and properly disposing of tires from around the county.
In areas that chronically produce mosquitoes, it is sometimes appropriate to manage the land to reduce mosquito production. Restoring tidal flow to wetland areas washes mosquito larvae away. Improving drainage eliminates standing water and prevents mosquito production. Filling in low spots eliminates standing water.
We can't check everywhere, so we rely on residents to help find mosquito problems. If you have a problem with mosquitoes in Hudson County, call (201) 223-1133 to request service. Requests are investigated as quickly as possible and we will take whatever actions are necessary to help reduce or eliminate mosquito problems. Be sure to check our Biology page before calling to be sure you are dealing with mosquitoes and not some similar insect.