New Chicago Area West Nile Virus Case Brings Advice to Prevent Mosquitoes
Temperatures in Chicago may be dipping into the lower 40s, but the threat of West Nile Virus in Illinois is still very real.
The DuPage County Health Department reported this week that a Naperville, Illinois, man in his 50s was diagnosed with the mosquito-borne virus, marking the county’s first human case in 2014. Cook County officials reported the first human case of 2014 on Aug. 27 in Oak Lawn, Illinois. In that case, a woman in her 40s was successfully treated for the virus, which causes flu-like symptoms.
“The Health Department reminds residents that despite the cool, rainy weather they should continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites and prevent contracting WNV,” says a release from DuPage County.
The county rates the current virus threat at “moderate," and encourages residents to take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes such as applying mosquito repellent containing DEET, wearing long sleeves and pants outdoors between dusk and dawn, and mosquito-proofing your home.
Rid your yard of mosquitoes
Keeping mosquitoes away from your outdoor living space can be as easy as calling in a local mosquito control company. However, if pest control professional isn’t in your budget, there are several DIY steps homeowners can take to control mosquitoes:
- Eliminate standing water — Mosquitoes breed in water. By eliminating standing water from around the outside of your home, you’re reducing the number of places that new mosquitoes will emerge from.
- Trim vegetation and keep your lawn mowed — Mosquitoes like to hang out in vegetation during the day. If you have heavy vegetation near your home, you’re creating a perfect environment for mosquitoes.
- Plant mosquito repelling vegetation — Mosquitoes dislike several types of plants, including citronella grass, catnip, lavender, marigolds basil and peppermint.
- Clean up your yard — Mosquitoes will breed anywhere they can find moisture. Homeowners should remove piles of debris or organic matter like grass clippings or leaves.