OTTAWA – With the wet weather LaSalle County has been experiencing, it’s no surprise to see a higher level of mosquito activity. According to Health Educator Jenny Barrie, the good news is that the mosquitoes we’re currently seeing are flood water mosquitoes that typically don’t carry disease. Currently, the LaSalle County Health Department is in the beginning stages of trapping and testing mosquitoes for the West Nile Virus. Barrie says its usually later in the summer that local mosquitoes test positive for the disease. The Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed the first mosquitoes to test positive for the virus were in DuPage County.
In hot, dry weather- usually later in the summer- mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus breed in stagnant water and multiply rapidly.
Remember the 3 R’s to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and protect yourself from being bitten.
- REDUCE-make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut. Eliminate, or refresh each week, all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, pet bowls, clogged rain gutters, wading pools, old tires, and any other containers.
- REPEL-when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535,according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
- REPORT–report locations where you see water sitting stagnant for more than a week such as roadside ditches, flooded yards, and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes. The local health department or city government may be able to add larvicide to the water, which will kill any mosquito eggs.