The Wheaton Mosquito Abatement District has scheduled an adulticide treatment to lower the population of adult mosquitoes currently present in the district. The treatment will cover the entire district – which includes Wheaton – and will be conducted by Clarke Mosquito Control on Tuesday, June 26. Applications are typically made from dusk until 2 a.m. In case of rain or other unacceptable weather condition, the treatment will be rescheduled.
The DuPage County Health Department operates four surveillance traps in the district to monitor the level of West Nile virus in the adult mosquito population. Last week, the Health Department conducted five tests from these four traps and reported two as positive for West Nile virus. The Health Department has reported a total of 18 West Nile virus positive batches of mosquitoes so far this mosquito season from all the traps it monitors. In addition to adult mosquitoes, three dead birds collected in DuPage County have tested positive for the same virus. Infected mosquitoes and birds provide an early warning of an increased risk of human illness. Mosquito spraying is one tool that helps lower the risk of disease transmission to residents.
Because of low rainfall, the number of nuisance mosquitoes in the district has been much lower than in recent years. This sometimes gives us a false sense of security regarding disease transmission by mosquitoes, which are not always readily apparent. The detection of West Nile virus in both birds and mosquitoes reminds us that we still need to take personal protection measures to prevent mosquito bites. Some things you can do include:
- Avoid outdoor activity when mosquitoes are present and active. Dawn and dusk are the periods of the day when mosquitoes are most apt to bite. If you are out when mosquitoes are present, wear protective clothing such as light-colored, long-sleeved shirt and pants.
- Use insect repellants to discourage mosquitoes from landing and biting. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control provides current information on mosquito repellants.
- Check your property and remove all standing water. The mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are able to breed in containers that are commonly found around homes. Even the smallest containers that collect water can breed hundreds to thousands of mosquitoes (buckets, bottles, cans, trash can lids, flower pots). If you can’t remove these containers, at least empty them weekly. If you eliminate the water, you will stop the development of mosquitoes into biting adults.
- Call Clarke’s mosquito hotline (800-942-2555) to report mosquito problems.
Information on the Health Department’s testing of mosquitoes for West Nile virus can be found on their website.
Courtesy of the City of Wheaton