The hot weather brought a few annoying and uninvited guests to the holiday picnics last weekend.
The mosquito season is back and the annual reminder that people are doing their part to keep the mosquito population in check. Kane County Health Department spokesman Tom Schlueter said most people are a troublesome mosquito that is not known to carry disease.
The real threat comes from the Culex mosquito because it carries the dangerous West Nile virus. Last year, 90 people were tested positive for West Nile in Illinois, and eight people in that state died from the disease, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health figures.
Because this mosquito prefers hot, dry weather and its females lay their eggs in still, still water, Schlueter said it's important to have every liquid that has accumulated in containers, pots, old tires, and gutters every week Change water in bird baths.
Until this year, no mosquitoes caught in Kane or DuPage districts have tested positive for West Nile.
DuPage County Health Department spokesman Don Bolger said, catch will begin at 30 sites around the county in May.
"There has been an increase in Culex mosquito in the collection traps in DuPage County, but none has tested positive for West Nile virus," said Bolger.
While Homeowners Can Do Their Part Even cities like Naperville dumping tanks with stagnant water actively handle patches where mosquitoes breed.
Not only does Naperville capture mosquitoes to determine West Nile risk, but the city also uses trap results to treat the most common mosquito species
Christine Schwartzhoff, head of the Public Works Bureau of Operation Naperville, said the city crew members had begun to catch mosquitoes a month ago.
The weekly collections provide crew data to determine when adult populations are rising and how the team will proceed.
Even before temperatures began to rise, Schwartzhoff said the crew had already handled the city's storm sewers and they continue to monitor 200 sites that often have stagnant water.
The best way to prevent being bitten is to wear insect repellent and dress appropriately in light colored clothing or fabric with mosquito repellent, said Richard Hentschel, a high school extension educator with the University of Illinois Extension serving DuPage, Kane and Kendall counties
Hentschel said mosquito sprays with DEET "still the best."
For those who prefer natural antibodies, people must remember to apply more often, especially if they sweat, Hentschel said.
To prevent the pests from entering a backyard, Hentschel suggests planting a mosquito-repellent flora. Herbs such as catnip, rosemary and basil are good deterrents, such as marigolds, fragrant geranium and lemon grass, which often contain citronella found in candles.
Filling a garden with such plants will not completely prevent mosquitoes from invading. "These are all defenses, not armor," said Hentschel.
While a person in their own garden can do what they can, mosquitoes can fly long distances.
"You can not control what happens 15 miles away," he said.  [email protected]