Naperville Residents! Remove standing water from property
Updated Sept. 8, 2012
Residents are reminded to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites and help reduce the number of potential mosquito breeding sites around their home. A growing number of cases of the West Nile Virus are being reported by the DuPage County Health Department. To date, 15 cases have been confirmed in DuPage, resulting in two deaths. According to the Illinois Department of Health, one positive test result has been reported in Will County.
Plus, mosquito traps in several areas throughout the City of Naperville have tested positive for West Nile Virus. Naperville is included among the cities where residents have been infected.
Protection is key, especially now that harvests in gardens are plentiful and mosquitoes tend to hide out in gardens, especially active at dawn and dusk. Residents are encouraged to remove areas of standing water from their property, as it can act as a breeding ground for this insect.
To help control the mosquito population, City crews inspect for and remove standing water and treat ponds, marsh areas and catch basins throughout the City with larvicides. City crews also monitor the mosquito population on a weekly basis through the use of mosquito traps to evaluate the effectiveness of larval control, provide early warnings for when adult populations are rising and also test for West Nile Virus. When necessary, the City will utilize spraying to control the population of adult mosquitoes. In these cases, the City uses the safest chemicals available in very low volumes and sprays only as needed.
The City of Naperville monitors mosquitoes each week to check for any that could be carrying harmful viruses. The Department of Public Works sets 16 traps Citywide, and mosquitoes from those traps are tested on a weekly basis for West Nile Virus.
West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne virus that is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Most people who are infected with the West Nile Virus have no symptoms or experience very mild symptoms three to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Mild symptoms include a fever, headache and body aches, occasionally with a skin rash on the trunk of the body and swollen lymph glands.
Less than one percent of infected people with West Nile Virus will develop severe symptoms. These symptoms include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. Persons older than 50 years of age and immunocompromised persons (e.g. transplant patients) have the highest risk of severe disease.
The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Precautions include:
- Whenever outdoors between dusk and dawn, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Loose fitting, light colored clothing is best. Consider staying indoors at dusk and dawn, which is peak mosquito biting time.
- Apply insect repellant to exposed skin when outdoors. The most effective repellents contain DEET. Use caution when applying repellant to children. Products containing 10 percent or less DEET are the most appropriate for children from 2 to 12 years of age. Use repellents as directed by the manufacturer.
- Install tight-fitting window and door screens. Check for and repair any tears in residential screens, including porches and patios. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.
- Reduce or eliminate the amount of standing water around your home. Remove old tires, tin cans, flower pots and buckets and change the water in birdbaths at least once a week. Any container holding water for more than four days can become a breeding ground for thousands of mosquitoes.
- Keep gutters clear of debris.
- Keep grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed around your home.
- Eliminate yard ruts and puddles.
- Aerate ornamental ponds or stock with larvae eating fish.
- Use Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), available in hardware stores, in any standing water around your home.
For more information on the City of Naperville’s Mosquito Abatement Program, visit www.naperville.il.us/mosquitocontrol.aspx
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