Heavy rains, flood contribute to mosquito invasion

June 24, 2008 3:05:57 PM PDT
In the last few days millions of mosquito eggs have hatched, leaving residents swatting away in backyards across the Chicagoland area. The heavy rain and flooding contributed to the mosquito invasion because stagnant water is a good breeding ground for mosquitoes.

"Since the floods of 2007 in August, the mosquitoes laid eggs into flood plain zones. And because of the heavy rainfall we received in June, those eggs have hatched off. And, we're seeing an emergence of floodwater mosquitoes throughout the Chicagoland area," said George Balis, Clarke Environmental.

To combat the bombardment of nuisance mosquitoes, many health officials and abatement companies are working overtime to spray for the insects, which they collect, examine and then test in order to form an abatement plan.

The stagnant water combined with climbing temperatures create ideal mosquito breeding conditions. Those nuisance mosquitoes, which are not typically know to carry the West Nile Virus, appear two weeks after heavy rains and flooding.

While not a series danger, they are voracious biters who need blood to survive.

Tips to avoid mosquito bites:

  • Close your doors, windows
  • avoid being out at dusk and dawn
  • do not wear dark clothing
  • do not wear perfume
  • do wear long sleeves and pants
  • use mosquito repellent and DEET
  • drain old cans, kiddy pools and bird baths of water
  • "Some of those flooded areas along the Fox River; they will actually see a secondary surge which will occur probably into the beginning of July," said Balis.

    But, residents along the Fox River aren't the only ones who will see the insects.

    "Even areas that don't have flood plain areas, we will see these flood plain mosquitoes come in because they can migrate 10 to 15 miles," said Balis.

    The Culex mosquito, which carries West Nile Virus, is expected to begin hatching in a couple of weeks. Officials said a cold spring actually may have helped cut down on the Culex mosquitoes.


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