City to spray for mosquitoes for first time, targeting Far South Side

- Chicago will spray to kill adult mosquitoes for the first time Wednesday, targeting an area on the Far South Side.

As part of the Chicago Department of Public Health’s effort to prevent the West Nile virus, spraying will be conducted Wednesday night in areas of the Pullman and South Deering neighborhoods, specifically the 7th, 8th and 10th wards, CPDH announced.

If weather permits, spraying will begin at dusk Wednesday and continue until about 1 a.m. Thursday.

The work is done by “licensed mosquito abatement technicians in trucks dispensing an ultra-low-volume spray,” guided by city workers, according to CDPH, which has been leaving door hangers in the affected areas to notify residents.

The chemical used is Zenivex, applied at a rate of 1.5 fluid ounces per acre. That measure is approved by the U.S. EPA to control mosquitoes in outdoor residential and recreational areas.

“The rapid degradation of this product makes it an excellent choice for control of West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes,” CDPH said.

While the spray is not harmful to people or pets, and is used in residential areas nationwide, residents may wish to stay indoors and close windows during spraying as an extra precaution, CDPH said.

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

That includes using insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus; eliminating standing water; keeping grass and weeds short to eliminate hiding places; checking that screens, windows and doors are tight-fitting and free of holes and tears; and checking on neighbors who may need additional assistance, including the elderly.

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