August 29, 2017

City to Spray Insecticide Wednesday to Kill Mosquitoes

Targeted Effort Fights West Nile Virus in Pullman and South Deering Community

CHICAGO - The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is continuing its efforts against West Nile virus by spraying to kill adult mosquitoes on Wednesday, August 30. This is the first spraying of the season.

Spraying will occur in parts of the Pullman and South Deering Community areas. Wards impacted include parts of the 7th, 8th and 10th wards. To download a map of the spray zones, click here.

Weather permitting, the spraying will begin at dusk on August 30 and continue through the night until approximately 1:00am, with licensed mosquito abatement technicians in trucks dispensing an ultra-low-volume spray. CDPH staff have been leaving door hangers in the affected areas to notify residents that the spraying will occur. 

The material being used to control the adult mosquitoes, Zenivex™, will be applied at a rate of 1.5 fluid ounces per acre. It is approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is used to control mosquitoes in outdoor residential and recreational areas.

Zenivex™ has been used effectively to control disease-carrying mosquitoes and is non-persistent, decomposing rapidly in the environment. The rapid degradation of this product makes it an excellent choice for control of West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes.  The spray will be applied by licensed mosquito abatement technicians from Vector Disease Control International, a leader in the mosquito control industry. Guiding the crews through the streets will be supervisors from the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation. While the spray is not harmful to people or pets and is routinely sprayed in residential areas across the nation, residents of targeted neighborhoods may choose to stay indoors and close their windows while spraying is underway, as an extra precaution.

“When our mosquito traps indicate that the West Nile virus may pose health risks in a community, we take action quickly,” said CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D. “But spraying is just one step to protect our city, residents must also take appropriate steps to protect themselves.”

Each year, CDPH conducts a comprehensive West Nile virus surveillance, prevention and control program. In addition to spraying, this includes dropping larvicide in catch basins, which helps limit the number of mosquitoes that can carry the virus, and regularly testing mosquitoes caught in traps throughout the city. By utilizing data, the city is able to most efficiently target high-risk areas for the virus.

CDPH reminds residents to take precautions against mosquitoes that may carry the virus, including:

• Use insect repellent that contains DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.

• Eliminate standing water. This includes emptying water from flowerpots, gutters, pool covers, pet water dishes and birdbaths regularly.

• Keep grass and weeds short to eliminate hiding places for adult mosquitoes.

• When outside between dusk and dawn, wear loose-fitting, light colored clothing including long pants, long sleeve shirts, socks and shoes.

• Check that all screens, windows and doors are tight-fitting and free of holes and tears

• Check on neighbors regularly who may need additional assistance, including the elderly.

West Nile virus cannot be transmitted from person-to-person. Instead, it is transmitted strictly through mosquitoes. Most mosquitoes do not carry the virus. Additional information on the virus, including symptoms and how to protect against the virus can be found here.

As part of their ongoing response efforts, CDPH will continue to collect mosquitoes from traps located throughout the city and test these mosquitoes for West Nile virus. Using results of these tests, CDPH will determine the appropriate steps to be taken in order to best protect Chicago residents.

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