Illinois’ summer has been, for the most part, too moist and cool for the sort of mosquitoes which carry the West Nile virus.
The common inland floodwater mosquito – a “noisy biter” – thrives in this kind of condition, says Phil Nixon, extension entomologist at the University of Illinois. But it’s the northern house mosquito which is responsible for more angst.
That one “normally doesn’t fly more than a half mile, or a mile, and, typically, much less than that” in its lifespan, Nixon says. “It’s a stagnant water, stinky water, discolored water-breeding mosquito that is what we call a ‘quiet biter’ … you don’t notice the bite.”
Nixon says while body chemistry dictates how susceptible you are to bites and their effects, the best thing you can do is use a repellent containing DEET and forget about bracelets and candles, unless they also have DEET.