The North Shore Mosquito Abatement District will attempt to control local mosquito populations and reduce the risks of West Nile Virus when they conduct targeted adult mosquito control operations in Evanston Monday night.
Weather permitting, district employees will drive through the city from 8 p.m. Monday to 2 a.m. Tuesday, spraying a synthetic chemical insecticide. Operations will begin in northeast Evanston, continue along the lakefront and then move westward.
Founded in 1927 after Illinois passed the Mosquito Abatement District Act, the district attempts to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses and “minimize annoyance from nuisance” mosquitoes in 79 square mile area covering several North Shore municipalities.
On June 18, the district reported one of its Evanston traps had .
“We’ve had multiple positive mosquito pulls from Evanston at this point,” said Dave Zazra, North Shore Mosquito Abatement District communications manager. “We’re trying to knock down the adult population, because we’re still seeing a high number of the culex mosquito, which is the mosquito that carries the West Nile Virus in this area.”
Zazra said that 90 percent of the district’s operations are aimed at larvae control and source reduction, but he also stressed that public cooperation and vigilance was necessary to control the mosquito population.
“Right now it’s really imperative that residents take a long, hard look at their property, and any potential breeding source needs to be eliminated,” Zazra said.
Anything that might hold water could be a potential risk, he said, including flower pots, children’s’ toys, clogged rain gutters, buckets, dog food dishes, dirty bird baths and neglected swimming pools.
Tonight’s spraying will mark the district’s first targeted adult mosquito control operation of the year. Zazra said the district plans to also spray in Skokie, Lincolnwood and additional regions of Evanston on Tuesday night.
According to the district’s 2011 annual report, there were three confirmed cases of West Nile Virus within its service area last year and two in 2010. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 34 cases statewide in 2011, resulting in four deaths.
When asked if the insecticide could be harmful to humans, Zazra said that the spray, Anvil 2+2, was a synthesized permethrin product that emulates a “natural form found in chrysanthemum flowers”.