Another service that Monee Public Works provides, an invaluable service, is mosquito prevention briquettes and the spraying of adult mosquitoes that have already hatched. Mosquitoes are a nuisance to all and are also hazardous to your health, as humans can contract encephalitis, malaria, or yellow fever and pets are at risk for heartworm. In Illinois, the West Nile Virus was first identified in September of 2001. Monee has been spraying for mosquitoes since 2005, but when West Nile first became an issue in New York in 1999, things became more serious. Every employee that sprays for mosquitoes is thoroughly trained, tested, and licensed thru the Department of Agriculture. (For more information on mosquito spraying, click here.) There are a few different kinds of briquettes used as the Village of Monee has gone “green” with the introduction of NATULAR from Clarke, a global environmental products and services company. The Village has purchased the 180 day briquettes to place in the roughly 680 storm sewer inlets around the town. In addition to what the Village of Monee does, residents may also take part in preventing mosquito issues on and around their property. Here are just a few ways that the Illinois Department of Public Health suggests:
Remove all standing water, as mosquitoes need water to complete their life cycle. Remove all old tires, tin cans, buckets, or any water-holding containers from your property. Fill in or drain any low places (puddles, ruts, etc.) in your yard. Keep drains, ditches, and culverts clean of weeds and trash so water will drain properly. Cover trash containers to keep out rainwater. Repair outdoor faucets and leaking pipes. Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store indoors when not in use. Make sure your backyard pool is properly cared for, even while you are on vacation. Fill in tree rot holes and hollow stumps that hold water. Change the water in bird baths and plant pots or drip trays at least once a week. Keep roof gutters free of leaves and other debris. Store boats covered or upside down, or remove rainwater weekly. Keep grass cut short and shrubbery well-trimmed so adult mosquitoes will not hide there.
Also remember to report any dead birds that are found to the Will County Department of Health, as this may be an early sign that the virus is active in our area. On average, only two out of ten people bitten by an infected mosquito will experience any symptoms. They are usually mild and include fever, headache, and body aches. Serious illness or death is very uncommon, but possible. Persons over the age of fifty are more susceptible to severe disease as a result.
For more information on the West Nile Virus, please visit the Will County Department of Health or call the Will County Environmental Health’s automated West Nile Virus Information Line at (815) 740-7631.