No more mosquitoes? Think again.

Public health officials say ‘Culex’ mosquito breeding numbers are up with the heat

July 30, 2012

Jewell Washington

(Flickr, Tonrulkens)
Based on a July 23, 2012 weekly operation summary there is a 98% increase in West Nile Virus positive pools of the Culex Mosquito, according to the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District. The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting West Nile virus present in multiple North Shore counties.

It’s easy to assume that the current drought means fewer mosquitoes, but Illinois public health officials say not so fast.

“It’s really kind of the opposite of what most people think that a lot of rain brings out mosquitoes,” said Dave Zazra with the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District, “and that’s true but for one type of mosquito. That’s the floodwater mosquito which is more of a nuisance mosquito - they’re not known to carry the virus in the Illinois area."

Zazra said the Culex mosquito is the type that can carry the West Nile virus. He said they haven’t been affected by the drought which is why his district is still spraying a larval control pesticide at night. In a recent weeklong sample, hundreds of mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile. 

Yet Zazra says even the spray can't completely protect residents. 

"It will leave you susceptible to getting bitten by the mosquito you don’t realize got you and could quite possibly be carrying West Nile virus,” he said.

Zazra said if it's warmer than 80-degrees the pesticide won’t work.