CRYSTAL LAKE – With heavy rainfalls continuing to pelt McHenry County, the city is once again taking additional measures to reduce the mosquito population.
A city-wide misting application will take place overnight between Friday and Saturday as an additional measure to city's ongoing mosquito control program, according to a news release.
A rain date is scheduled for the following night, between Saturday and Sunday.
The misting will mark the third time this summer the city has deemed additional measures necessary after assessing the number of female mosquitoes collected in traps that have been placed around the city.
According to Public Works Director Michael Magnuson, sprays typically take place once the traps have reached a threshold of about 150 female mosquitoes and traditionally happen between two and three times per summer, but heavy rainfalls have amplified the problem this summer.
"We got the latest trap count, which was [Monday], and the numbers at several locations were pretty high," Assistant to the Director of Public Works Denver Schmitt said. "We also get feedback from the public, which is helpful in finding where those highest mosquito populations are."
The city has an annual contract with Clarke Environmental Mosquito Management Inc. for $82,000 that runs through the end of the summer in 2020; although, the city budgets about $110,000 each year for mosquito reduction for additional measures.
Each additional spray costs about $12,000.
Schmitt said the rainfall this summer is the highest amount he has seen since he began overseeing the city's mosquito control program three years ago. He also said Clarke is optimistic the upcoming misting application will provide enough relief to avoid another misting this summer.
"What they're seeing is potentially decreased mosquito counts in the coming weeks and hopefully being able to knock it down even further," Schmitt said.
Residents are encouraged to monitor potential mosquito breeding sites in their yards and to alert Clarke to locations by calling the toll-free Mosquito Hotline: 1-800-942-2555.