Continue to protect yourself against mosquitoes as we progress into the fall. The northern house mosquito, Culex pipiens, is considered to be the main vector of West Nile virus, and it is present well into the fall months. Many feel that once there has been a freeze, there will be no more mosquitoes. However, bodies of water do not conduct heat nearly as easily as air, so water containing mosquito larvae does not freeze readily as the air temperature drops to freezing. Biting mosquitoes are common during the warmup or "Indian summer" that follows the first freezes of the fall. More than 20 species of mosquitoes in Illinois carry West Nile virus, including the eastern tree-hole mosquito, Aedes triseriatus. This mosquito overwinters as an adult and emerges to bite people anytime during the winter when there are warm temperatures. Wear insect repellent to protect you when working outdoors under warmer temperatures, particularly in the early morning and evening.
University of Illinois Extension and the Illinois Department of Agriculture are offering a series of mosquito pesticide-licensing clinics in October to fill the need of those wanting a license to treat for mosquitoes during the current influx of West Nile virus. The dates and locations are as follow: October 1 and 2, 2002: Gateway Center, One Gateway Drive, Collinsville, Illinois; October 7 and 8, 2002: Extension Building (Building #30), State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Illinois; October 9 and 10, 2002: Illinois Valley Banquet Center, 920 Second St., LaSalle, Illinois.
The schedule for these clinics is as follows. On the first day, General Standards training will be from 8:00 to 11:30 a.m., with General Standards testing from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m. On the second day, Mosquito Category training will be from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., with testing from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m. There is a $30 fee to attend the training, and preregistration is required. Call (800)644-2123 to register or to ask questions about the training. If you have questions about testing and licensing, call (800)641-3934.