IDPH warns of floodwater mosquito uptick after wet spring

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health warns about floodwater mosquitoes after months of rain and flooding across the state.

IDPH says areas flooded for more than 10 days have the potential to produce large amounts of mosquitos, which can travel up to 10 miles from where they are bred.

While floodwater mosquitoes could be on the rise, IDPH officials say they are not known to carry disease.

"It is important to protect yourself from insect bites, even if they are not known to cause disease," said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. "While the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus prefer hot, dry conditions, even the mosquitoes that flourish in cooler, wet weather bring the potential for infection if you scratch a bite and create a wound."

IDPH recommended the following tips for avoiding mosquito bites:

- Avoid being outdoors when house mosquitoes are most active, between dusk and dawn
- Wear socks, shoes, pants, and a light-colored, long-sleeved shirt.
- Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR 3535 according to label instructions.
- Ensure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and keep doors and windows closed at night