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I don't think most people take the threat of West Nile seriously enough. I remember a radio commercial from last year concerning the danger. The narrator was the husband of a virus victim. His wife was bitten by a mosquito while they were in their backyard one evening. She joked, "I hope that wasn't a west Nile mosquito." Unfortunately it was. She became ill, went into a coma and succumbed to the illness some months later. The first time I heard it, it was chilling. I used to think you had to be elderly or in poor health to be in danger. This apparently is not the case.

This year already mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus have been found in three neighborhoods in northwest Chicago and eleven surrounding counties.

There are ways to help prevent the mosquitoes from breeding near your home. Remove any standing water at least once a week from around your house. This seems obvious, but there are some places you might not think of.

  • Check flowerpots and pet food dishes.
  • Empty any buckets, barrels or cans
  • Water that gathers on top of pool covers
  • Clogged gutters(clean them out)
  • Check under bushes and porches

Keep screens in doors and windows in good repair in order to keep mosquitoes out of the house.

Wear insect repellant every time you go outside. Use repellant with the highest amount of DEET you can find. Wear long sleeves and pants. Stay indoors at dusk and early evening.

Don't worry about bird baths. As long as you change the water every few days there is no problem with mosquitoes breeding there. Water is as essential as food for birds. Before all the rain we had this last week there was very little fresh water available for our feathered friends.
Posted: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 7:18 AM by Dean's Team


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