CHICAGO (CBS) — Record rainfall levels in July have led to a bumper crop of mosquitoes.
George Balis, an entomologist for Clarke that does abatement in the collar counties, says the area has seen more mosquitoes the past two summers than the previous five years.
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Entomologist Rich Lampman with the Prairie Research Institute in Champaign says getting almost seven inches of rain in one afternoon–which we did one day in July–could have eliminated mosquitoes by flushing out larva in standing water.
But if puddles are left sitting for days, more mosquitoes will move in.
Steps people can take to reduce mosquito bites include dumping any standing water around their homes–in bird baths, clogged gutters, empty pots or pool covers.
Also, they can avoid being outside overnight when mosquitoes are most active or wear long sleeves and pants.
Balis says that’s often a tough sell in the heat of summer, so he suggests wearing repellent with DEET, Picaridin, lemon eucalyptus or IR35-35.
Last year, 61 people were infected with West Nile Virus and four people–including one from Cook County–died from it.
There have been no reported human cases in the state so far this year.