News Details

‘Mosquito Eating’ Fish Stocked in Retention Basins

(Mantua Twp., NJ) –Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger and Freeholder Heather Simmons helped stock retention basins in the county with 7,000 Fathead Minnow, a fish that eat the larvae of mosquitoes.

Gloucester County has two 300-gallon tanks it uses to hold the fish that can be placed in any of its 18 retention basins.

Freeholder Director Damminger said, "By stocking retention basins throughout the county with these natural predators to mosquito larvae we are combating mosquitoes, which can carry Zika, West Nile, Equine Encephalitis and other viruses."

Damminger said that Gloucester County uses an Integrated Mosquito Management program to control the mosquito population. This program uses several techniques that include surveillance, larvicide, adulticide, and public awareness to help reduce mosquito breeding grounds.

Freeholder Heather Simmons, Liaison to the Department of Public Works, said that the Fathead Minnows are part of the larvicide aspect of the program that kills mosquito larvae in standing water.

Simmons said, “Larvicide is an effective and green method of reducing the mosquito population. These fish are not a danger to humans or any other wildlife other than mosquito larvae. “

Simmons noted that the Gloucester County Mosquito Control Division works throughout the year conducting surveillance and fighting mosquito breeding grounds. Simmons said. “If our Mosquito Control Division was not working on this issue throughout the year our summers would be unbearable."

This year's fish will be released in 18 basins throughout Mantua, West Deptford, Washington Township, Elk, Greenwich, East Greenwich, Glassboro, Elk and Deptford. State Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife provide the mosquito eating fish annually and the county distributes them.

Freeholder Jim Jefferson, Liaison to the Department of Health said that residents should monitor their property for any containers holding water and empty standing water daily; cover or drill holes in the bottom of containers if needed. Make certain that swimming pools are clean and sanitized. And maintain mechanical barriers such as window screening.

Jefferson said, “We want our residents to have a healthy and enjoyable summer and we can work together to achieve that by keeping the mosquito population down. The Gloucester County Health Department will investigate and work closely with local officials to assure abatement of conditions that support mosquito breeding habitats, such as standing water.”

The Gloucester County Mosquito Control Division receives and responds to requests from County residents, schools, businesses and organizations and will provide application of EPA approved pesticides upon request.

Mosquito Control can be reached Monday through Friday, 8:00 am- 4:00 pm at: (856) 307-6400.

Residents can also contact the Gloucester County Health Department with any concerns and/or complaints, Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm at: (856) 218-4170.

24/7 Call Center For Zika:
The New Jersey Department of Health and the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES) have opened a public call center for individuals who have questions about Zika. The call center is open 24 hours a day and is staffed by professionals who can answer questions from the general public and health care professionals in any language.

The call center telephone number is: (800) 962-1253

More information about Zika: