Wet weather brings more mosquitoes

File Photo Studstill Media

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.