Chicago Ranks 4th in US for Mosquito Complaints, Pest Control Company Says

The Chicago area ranks among the highest in the nation when it comes to mosquito complaints, according to Orkin Pest Control.

Orkin released a ranking last month of the most mosquito-ridden cities in the U.S. for 2019, with Chicago coming in at fourth on the list.

That was one spot higher than the previous year. Atlanta, New York, and Washington, D.C., topped the list, which was determined by number of mosquito-related service calls the company makes in each region between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019.

The breeding season for mosquitoes is usually July through September, Orkin says, while peak West Nile virus typically takes place in late August and September, sometimes lasting through October.

But with a wetter than average start to the season - last month was the rainiest May ever recorded - experts warn that a mosquito uptick could happen early.

In order to cut down on breeding, the most crucial action to take is to reduce any standing water in your yard, and avoid it in public parks. That's where mosquitoes lay their eggs.

You should also keep gutters clean and unclogged and ensure your downspouts drain properly. Window and door screens should fit snugly - check and repair any holes.

When outside, use a DEET-based repellent and reapply it every four hours, experts say.

The Illinois Department of Health already confirmed the first mosquitoes to test positive for West Nile virus this year, collected on May 21 in Wayne, Illinois.

Health officials warned that symptoms of the virus include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches, all lasting from a few days to a few weeks, though four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms at all.

Severe illness and even death can occur from West Nile, and people over the age of 60, as well as those with weakened immune systems, are at a higher risk.

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