CHICAGO - After a dry and mosquito-free spring, they're back!
Hordes of pesky hungry mosquitoes have descended on the Chicago area following heavy rains in June.
Randy Brockway of west suburban Riverside said he’s been getting eaten alive when he takes his dog for a walk along the Des Plaines River Trail.
"I’ve noticed that they’ve been thick. And that they’ve been biting," Brockway said.
Joan Weiss says it’s just as bad in her neighborhood.
"They’re horrible. Especially in the morning and late at night. You don’t even want to walk your dog. You don’t even want to go out of your house," said Weiss.
After a rare spring drought that kept the mosquitos at bay, a rainy June has unleashed a huge and unusually late swarm.
"Some places had upwards of four or five inches (of rain)," said Brian Duffy, who helps run the Des Plaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District. "A large group of adult mosquitos, floodwater mosquitos emerged."
At District headquarters in Lyons, they’re separating and counting thousands of Skeeters trapped overnight.
"We have to go through each individual mosquito and identify which species they are, which could be a variety of things," said District employee Brianne Perkins, while peering through a microscope.
The good news is, so far, they’ve found only a handful of mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus in the Chicago area and no transmission to humans.
Still, they say people heading outdoors should be taking precautions.
"In your yard, any sort of standing water, buckets, wheelbarrows, if you have dirty gutters that are holding water, those are the areas that type of mosquito that carries the virus love to breed," said Duffy.
"I went to Whole Foods and I bought natural spray," said Weiss of Riverside. "And it works like a charm, but you put so much on that when you go back in the house you have to shower."
The good news is floodwater mosquitoes only live between five and seven days. The bad news is with continued rain, we’ll likely get another wave of mosquitos to replace them.