Another service that Public Works provides, an invaluable service, is mosquito spraying and the placement of mosquito prevention briquettes. Mosquitoes are a nuisance to all and are also hazardous to your health, as humans can contract encephalitis, malaria, or yellow fever and pets are at risk for heart worm. In Illinois, the West Nile Virus was first identified in September of 2001. Crete Public Works has always sprayed for mosquitoes, but when West Nile first became an issue in New York in 1999, things became more serious. Every employee that sprays for mosquitoes is thoroughly trained, tested, and licensed through the Department of Agriculture. There are a few different kinds of briquettes. Usually the Village purchases the 180 day briquettes and are placed once a month in every storm sewer at approximately 1265 inlets. In addition to what the Village does, residents may also take part in preventing mosquito issues on and around their property. Here are just a few ways that Clarke Mosquito Control suggests:
- Remove all standing water, as mosquitoes need water to complete their life cycle
- Remove all old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, or any water-holding containers from your property
- Fill in or drain any low places (puddles, ruts) in your yard
- Keep drains, ditches, and culverts clean of weeds and trash so water will drain properly
- Cover trash containers to keep out rain water
- Repair leaky pipes and outdoor faucets
- Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store them indoors when not in use
- Make sure your backyard pool is properly cared for, even while you are on vacation
- Fill in tree rot holes and hollow stumps that hold water with sand or concrete
- Change the water in birdbaths and plant pots or drip trays at least once a week
- Keep grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed around the house so adult mosquitoes will not hide there
Also, remember to report any dead birds that are found to the Will County Department of Health, as this may be an early sign that the virus is active in our area. On average, only 2 out of 10 people bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any symptoms. They are usually mild and include fever, headache, and body aches. Serious illness or death are very uncommon, but possible. Persons over the age of 50 are more susceptible to severe disease as the result.
For more information on the West Nile Virus, visit the Will County Department of Health site or call the Will County Environmental Health’s automated West Nile Virus Information Line at 815-740-7631.