Mosquito trackers are concerned about the Garden State's pest population getting out of hand this spring and summer. Recent rains, according to those engaged in mosquito control, are not helping anyone except the bugs.

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Ary Farajollahi of Mercer County Mosquito Control said people might think the harsh winter helped keep the mosquito population down, but the weather actually helped make the insects more hardy. He said his department is currently engaged in draining standing water that has collected on public property, areas primed for mosquito larvae collection.

"If you have any standing water in that bucket that might be behind the shed, any tarp that might be holding water," Farajollahi said with regard to private property, "please assist us by helping yourselves, by dumping out this water."

Property owners can also protect themselves around the home by using an insect repellent containing 'DEET,' considered the gold standard for repelling mosquitoes. Farajollahi said from Mosquito Control's perspective, spraying will come later and only as a last resort to control the bugs.

The stakes are high in keeping a lid on "Jersey's national bird." The mosquito has been linked to a number of serious diseases in recent years, including eastern equine encephalitis, West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis, malaria and heartworm.