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Recent heavy rains combined with warm temperatures 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 District operations addressed mosquito production in our area, residents can expect a noticeable increase in adult mosquito within the next week due to adult mosquito migration.
While nuisance mosquitoes will be the predominant species present, residents are cautioned that 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. Positive adult mosquito samples for WNV have been found within the District this season. The first human case of WNV was recently found in Chicago. 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.
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:
1. Throw away all trash that can hold water as cans, jars, bottles, etc.
2. Clean rain gutter/downspouts to prevent water from standing in gutters or on flat roofs.
3. Change water in bird baths, wading pools, etc. at least once a week.
4. Maintain swimming pools property.
5. Remove or turn over containers, buckets, wheelbarrows, etc. which may accumulate water.
6. Screen rain barrels to prevent adult mosquitoes from depositing eggs on the water's surface.
7. Aerate ornamental ponds and stock with goldfish or other surface-feeding fish to control mosquito production.
8. Dispose of any used tires without rims to prevent water accumulation.