The massive flooding in the northern suburbs will result in a major hatch of the Aedes vexans floodwater mosquito. This mosquito is not involved in disease transmission, however, is an extremely aggressive biter. This mosquito is migratory by nature, with a flight range of well over 10 miles! Although flooding did not occur in our immediate area, District residents can expect a noticeable increase in adult mosquito annoyance within the next week due to adult mosquito migration.
While nuisance mosquitoes will be the predominant species present, residents are cautioned that the mosquito species involved in West Nile Virus (WNV) transmission is also present in our area. This species is not an aggressive biter with limited flight range, however, must not be forgotten. Several positive adult mosquito samples for WNV have been found within the District this season. The first human case of WNV was recently found in Will County. While this is not unusual for this time of year, it does indicate that \VNV amplification is increasing and residents need to use precautionary measures.
Residents are encouraged to use a common sense approach in avoiding exposure to adult mosquitoes and any potential mosquito-borne diseases. Window screens should be inspected and repaired if damaged to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home. In addition, any openings around window air conditioners, clothes dryer vents, etc. should be eliminated for the same reason. If possible, avoid outdoor activities around dusk. If not possible, wear shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Loose fitting, light colored clothing is best. Appropriate use of insect repellents per manufacturer’s instructions is recommended.
Residents should look for potential mosquito breeding sources around the home and take the following simple steps:
- Throw away all trash that can hold water as cans, jars, bottles, etc.
- Clean rain gutters/downspouts to prevent water from standing in gutters or on flat roofs.
- Change water in bird baths, wading pools, etc. at least once a week.
- Maintain swimming pools properly.
- Remove or turn over containers, buckets, wheel barrows, etc. which may accumulate water.
- Screen rain barrels to prevent adult mosquitoes from depositing eggs on the water’s surface.
- Aerate ornamental ponds and stock with goldfish or other surface-feeding fish to control mosquito production.
- Dispose of any used tires without rims to prevent water accumulation.