Tuckerton Historical Society Presents ‘The Age-Old Battle with Mosquitoes’

Feb 28, 2018
Photo by: Ocean County Mosquito Commission Ditch-digging by hand was a way to drain marshes and also allowed minnows and other mosquito larvae-eating animals to get to their food.

Mosquitoes have been the bane of residents and tourists at the Jersey Shore since its earliest days. In the 1600s, mosquitoes were so numerous that people wore handkerchiefs over their mouths and kept wet fires burning in their doorways as a deterrent. A common illness suffered by sailors in the Tuckerton Marine Hospital was called ague, but it was actually malaria.

On Saturday, March 10, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Giffordtown Schoolhouse Museum in Little Egg Harbor, Mike Senyk, assistant superintendent of the Ocean County Mosquito Commission, will present a fascinating history of mosquito control from the earliest days through the 1920s that included employing the WPA workers to hand-ditch the salt marsh. Spreading fuel oil on wetlands was another “deterrent.”

Senyk will also talk about how the Ocean County Mosquito Commission keeps up the battle in eradicating the summertime nemesis to maintain a livable Jersey Shore. He welcomes a Q and A session after his PowerPoint program.

The Giffordtown Schoolhouse Museum is at 35 Leitz Blvd. and Wisteria Lane, off Route 9 South in Little Egg Harbor. Donations are welcome. —P.J.

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