Crews working with the Chicago Department of Public Health this week will be dropping “larvicide” in catch basins in the 49th Ward in the area west of Ashland Ave. This annual activity is done to decrease the number of mosquitoes that can transmit the West Nile virus.
The area east of Ashland is NOT being treated because historically mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are not present close to Lake Michigan.
The 49th Ward is part of a far north side region that is undergoing treatment. The targeted area is bounded by Ashland on the east, Pulaski Blvd. on the west, the city limits on the north and Lawrence Ave. on the south (see map above).
Here is some additional information on this effort:
What is a larvicide? A larvicide is a type of insecticide used to kill or interrupt the development of immature forms of mosquitoes, preventing them from becoming adults.
Is the larvicide safe? This larvicide is registered for use by the EPA and is safe for humans, as well as animals that may come in contact with it, including fish, other aquatic life and birds.
How will I know when the larvicide is being placed in my neighborhood? Crews are easily recognized: they wear an orange vest and walk up and down the street placing the larvicide in catch basins. A van with the contractor’s insignia–“Vector Disease Control International”–escorts the crews.
How is the larvicide used? The larvicide is uniquely shaped to fit between the small openings in the catch basins. Once in the catch basin, small amounts of the active ingredient are released over time. This is a time-release solid pellet, not an airborne spray.
What larvicide is used? The brand name of the larvacide is Fourstar® Briquets.
Which areas of the City will larvicide be placed? Larvicide is placed in areas of the city where data shows an increased likelihood of identifying mosquitoes infected with the West Nile virus. The area west of Ashland is the only section of the 49th Ward undergoing treatment.
Does this effort help address Zika virus? This effort is focused primarily on combating West Nile virus by decreasing the number of mosquitoes that can transmit this virus. Though Zika virus is transmitted by mosquitoes, the risk for Chicagoans for contracting Zika virus is low, as the main species of mosquito that transmits this virus is not native to Chicago. However, the City will place traps throughout the area to monitor for the types of mosquitoes that can transmit Zika virus.
If you have other questions or concerns, please reply to this email or call my office at 773-338-5796.