WHEATON, Ill. (CBS) — A change in policy for dealing with mosquitoes in the DuPage County Forest Preserves could make recreation in the woods this year a little more comfortable.

WBBM’s Bernie Tafoya reports.

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The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County barely sprayed to kill adult mosquitoes in the woods in the past.  Officials thought the action was too much of a threat and could kill other wildlife, including other insects such as butterflies. However, with West Nile Virus being a possibility, the forest preserve plans to spray adulticides in certain situations.

“We’re talking about public health. We’re talking about grandma or grandpa who might want to take a walk out in the neighborhood near the forest preserve, they could be reassured that it’s going to be a little safer for them,” said DuPage County Board chairman Dan Cronin.

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Under the new policy, the FPDDC will consider spraying to kill adult mosquitoes if the DuPage County Health Department’s personal protection index for West Nile virus is at level three.

According to the District’s website, that amount conclusively shows that the source of targeted mosquitoes is located in the woods. That level also supports the notion that the delivery of sprays or fogs are able to effectively target specific areas and that “no other reasonable alternatives to protect the public from an imminent threat of serious illness or death (such as closing a forest preserve) are available.”

Forest preserves make up 13 percent of the land mass in DuPage County.

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