West Nile Virus cases increase, caution urged

With the return of warm temperatures coupled with drier conditions, the DesPlaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District cautions residents that the production of mosquitoes involved in the transmission of West Nile Virus is on the increase.

The first WNV positive mosquito sample was found in mid-June, and district monitoring of adult mosquito populations for WNV has found additional positive samples this week. While the risk of transmission is still low at this time, amplification of West Nile Virus within the adult mosquito population is on the increase.

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, such as cans, jars, bottles, etc.

2. Clean rain gutters/downspouts to prevent water from standing in gutters or on flat roofs.

3. Change water in bird baths, wading pools, etc., once a week.

4. Maintain swimming pools properly.

5. Remove or turn over containers, buckets, wheel barrows, 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.

For additional information, visit the district’s website at https://www.desplainesvalleymad.com.