Workers with Naperville Public Works attempt to reduce the mosquito population each week by spray insecticide on grass and plants from 5am to 10am.
“That’s when they’re most active. Everyone thinks they’re always active but they’re not,” said Lee Heeley, a Naperville Public Works employee who’s part of the city’s abatement team. “You’re just disturbing them when you walk through the woods or through the grass.”
With heavier rainfall this summer there’s a greater potential for standing water. That could provide more opportunities for virus-carrying mosquitoes to breed.
“The Culex Pipiens is the one that carries the west nile virus and from the naked eye, it’s impossible [to tell],” Dave Haas, Public Information Officer for the DuPage County Health dDepartment, explained.
But it’s important to tell if the common West Nile carriers are increasing in population. So experts collect traps of the blood-sucking pests. After freezing them for several hours, they separate the Culex from the other species and blend them in a centrifuge so that they can be tested for West Nile.
While experts say it’s too early to tell just how prevalent West Nile Virus will be this year, you should protect yourself from mosquitoes by wearing long sleeves and pants and using a good mosquito repellent.
“And the number three thing is to dump any standing water that’s on your property,” said Haas. That would include water from things like bird baths, baby pools, and gutters. Using some common precautions, you can keep your summer as bite-free as possible.
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