Want to know when mosquito spraying will take place in Evanston?
You’re in luck. As of Wednesday, you can now sign up for text and e-mail alerts on the city’s website.
The North Shore Mosquito Abatement District, which includes Evanston and several other communities around the north suburbs, typically notifies municipalities up to 48 hours in advance that spraying is going on, according to a press release from the city. That information will then be passed on to residents who sign up for the city’s text or e-mail alerts.
As of last Friday, there were six cases of West Nile Virus confirmed in Evanston, up from zero in 2011. Numbers of the disease are high around the nation, and according to the Centers for Disease Control, there have been more cases of the West Nile Virus identified so far this year than there ever have been reported since the virus was first isolated in the U.S. in 1999.
The prevalence of West Nile Virus—and therefore the need for spraying—is predicted to increase, health officials say.
“August and September tend to be the peak season for West Nile virus activity,” Evanston Health Department Director Evonda Thomas said in a press release. “Mosquitoes that have West Nile virus will be active until the first hard frost of the year.”
Thomas urged residents to reduce their exposure to mosquitoes, wear insect repellent and report to the city any pools of stagnant water, an environment in which the insects like to breed.
Anyone interested in signing up for the notification system can do so by visiting www.cityofevanston.org/subscribe and choosing “Mosquito Abatement” under the “Special Interest” section of the form.