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Posted on: May 23, 2022

Summer = Mosquitoes and the Threat of West Nile Virus

Mosquito

July 1, 2022 Update: A mosquito pool in Skokie has tested positive for West Nile Virus. See important information below on how to protect you and your family! 

It’s summer, and mosquitoes are expected to be in abundance this year. The Northshore Mosquito Abatement District monitors for West Nile virus in Skokie by collecting mosquitoes and completing laboratory tests for the West Nile Virus (WNV). Click here for information on spraying route schedules, how to ’fight the bite’ and more! 

  • The NSMAD Tire Collection Program to avoid breeding areas for mosquitoes; click here for details.
  • Please contact us (NSMAD) for a property inspection before using a yard spray or sign a contract with a private pest control provider for barrier sprays. Learn more here
  • It's vitally important to eliminate or treat items that can hold water and lead to mosquito breeding sites.

Mosquito/Property Inspections-Don’t Barrier Spray Without One: Did you know that you can request a mosquito/property inspection performed by a North Shore Mosquito Abetment District (NSMAD) Field Technician? Before you decide to spray your yard to kill adult mosquitoes, please contact the NSMAD for a free property inspection. NSAD staff will look for breeding sources and treat those that need it and identify whether a barrier treatment or other further action is warranted. Click here to go to the NSMAD service request form.

Repellent Use: There is a very simple away to avoid mosquito bites, use an EPA registered repellent! Using repellent is a safe and effective way to prevent mosquito (and tick) bites. There are several active ingredients to choose from, DEET, Picaridin and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus are among the most effective. See NSMAD’s website for the EPA’s repellent decision guide. 

May 31, 2022 Update:
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has confirmed the first mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus in Illinois in 2022.  Skokie residents who see a sick or dying crow, blue jay, robin or other perching bird should contact  contact Skokie Health and Human Services (HHS) at 847/933-8252 to determine if the bird should be collected and tested for West Nile Virus.

Below are some tips from the Skokie HHS to protect yourself and your family from West Nile Virus.
Skokie HHS works diligently with the NSMAD to monitor mosquito activity in the Village in order to lower the risk of WNV infections.

Measures to reduce your risk of being bitten include staying indoors at dawn, dusk or early evening; wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever you are outdoors; spraying clothes with repellants and wearing protective clothing if spending time in a heavily wooded area and applying insect repellents containing DEET very sparingly on exposed skin.

Remember, if an outdoor object can hold water, it can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Property owners can eliminate mosquito breeding areas in the
following manner:

• Remove standing water where mosquitoes can breed. For example, standing water in plant pots, children’s toys, roof gutters, downspout drainage, ornamental birdbaths and ponds.

• Clean and maintain any catch basins that may be on the property. NSMAD will treat your catch basin for mosquito larvae. For more information, please call 847/446-9434.

• Change the water in birdbaths and plant pots at least once a week.

• Empty plastic pools at the end of each day and store indoors.

• Keep grass and shrubbery cut short. Adult mosquitoes accumulate in cool, shady areas.

• Keep gutters clean and free-flowing. Eliminate dips and low areas that collect water.

Most people infected with the virus will have few or mild symptoms including fever, headache, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph nodes. Severe infections can cause high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, muscle weakness and, rarely, death. Symptoms generally occur three to 14 days following the bite of an infected mosquito. Anyone can get WNV, however, people over age 50 or individuals with a weakened immune system have the highest risk of developing severe illness. If you suspect you have WNV you should contact your doctor.

If you find a dead bird it is important to contact the Skokie Health and Human Services Department to collect the bird for testing. Historically, some birds have tested positive for WNV, and results from testing help to determine the extent of WNV activity. To report a dead bird, please call 847/933-8484.

For more information on WNV or to report potential mosquito breeding sites, please contact the Skokie Health and Human Services Department at 847/933-8484 or the NSMAD at 847/446-9434. 

To learn more about the Skokie Health Department, please click here or call 847/933-8252.


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