The Desplaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District on July 10 warned area residents to expect an influx of mosquitos this week, following recent rains and warm weather that have provided excellent conditions for their proliferation, and to take action at home to limit their numbers.
This week, there will be a “major hatch of the Aedes vexan floodwater mosquito,” the agency stated. That particular species does not spread disease, according to the agency, but “it is an extremely aggressive biter” that is “migratory in nature, with a flight range of well over 10 miles.”
While the mosquitos may be more a nuisance than a threat, there have been adult mosquito samples in the area that have tested positive for West Nile Virus.
“While this is not unusual for this time of year, it does indicate that WNV amplification is increasing and residents need to use precautionary measures,” the agency stated.
According to the Centers for Disease Control there have been no human cases of West Nile Virus reported in Illinois in 2023 and just 17 nationwide, with the most — seven — reported so far in Arizona.
Residents are encouraged to inspect and repair any damaged window screens to prevent mosquitos from entering their homes and to seal any openings around window air conditioners and clothes dryer vents.
Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants — loose-fitting and light-colored are best, according to the agency — is encouraged along with shoes and socks when outside, particularly at dusk.
The agency also encouraged residents to eliminate any possible mosquito breeding grounds around their properties, throwing away trash that can hold water, cleaning gutters and mopping up standing water on flat roofs, turning over buckets and wheel barrows, screening rain barrels, maintaining swimming pools, changing the water in bird baths and wading pools at least once a week, and disposing of used tires without rims.
The Desplaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District encompasses 77-square miles of suburban Chicago in the Des Plaines River and Salt Creek valley. It comprises 31 municipalities within Riverside, Proviso, Lyons, Oak Park and River Forest townships.
— Bob Uphues