If it seems like there are more mosquitoes then normal this spring at the Jersey Shore, it’s not just in your head.
According to officials, there’s been a boom in the number of mosquitoes in Cape May, Ocean and Atlantic Counties. Many residents have already taken notice.
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“Sometimes they’ll actually swarm around you,” said Jack Leming of Cape May Point, New Jersey. “The spring has been as bad as I’ve seen and I’ve been coming here since 1941.”
Experts say the insects are spring mosquitoes, which typically breed on the edges of salt marshes. The recent rainfall, cloudy days, humid conditions and warm temperatures are all playing a role in the high numbers at the Shore.
“In certain areas there are certain species of mosquitoes where all of the right factors have come together and those mosquitoes are exploding,” said Dr. Peter Bosak of the Cape May County Department of Mosquito Control.
Mosquito Control officials say they’re conducting surveillance and using larvicide in mosquito breeding hot spots. They also say however that they don’t expect to ramp up their efforts until the summer when more people are at the Shore.
As for whether the mosquito explosion will continue in the summer, experts say it’s hard to predict at the moment. They do warn however that the approaching rain this week won’t help the situation for Memorial Day Weekend.
“They are very reactive to immediate conditions,” Dr. Bosak said. “So the more frequent rains that we have, the more mosquitoes we’re going to have.”
Officials say the spring mosquitoes don’t carry diseases like West Nile Virus. However, they also warn that the same can’t be said about the summer mosquitoes that will replace them by the end of June.