West Nile Virus (WNV) levels within the adult mosquito population have reached extremely high levels where transmission to humans is imminent. The species of mosquito involved in WNV transmission is a passive mosquito, and not an aggressive biter with its presence often going undetected. People assume that if mosquitoes are not biting then precautionary measures are not necessary.
Residents are encouraged to use a common sense approach in avoiding exposure to adult mosquitoes and WNV. 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 highly recommended.
Residents should look for potential mosquito breeding sources around the home. Any item that can hold water can be a potential breeding source for the mosquito involved in WNV transmission. Residents should take the following simple precautionary steps:
- Throw away all trash that can hold water such 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 & report any unmaintained pools.
- 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.
The Desplaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District has maintained an aggressive mosquito larval control program throughout the summer against all mosquito species. Larval control operations are ongoing and will continue through the mosquito season. With escalation of WNV in the adult mosquito population last month, contingency adult mosquito control operations were instituted, and have focused on areas experiencing high WNV levels. Spraying for adult mosquitoes will be conducted during evening hours between dusk and midnight as needed. The District lists all areas to be sprayed on a particular evening on its website, and on a recorded message available after 3:30 pm at 708-447-1765. The District also notifies Villages the day that spraying is scheduled to occur.