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West Nile, Zika heighten Village’s mosquito sprays

As the weather gets warmer and mosquitos become more prevalent, the Village of Homer Glen is planning to take added precautions to protect people from the diseases these insects carry.

Heather Kokodynsky, assistant village manager for Homer Glen, said officials recently sought a contractual change to the village’s mosquito control program.

“This year we’ve upped the amount of community-wide sprayings,” she said.

Kokodynsky noted that officials recalled having a lot of rain in May 2015, which led them to consider the idea of accounting for an additional fourth spraying. In doing so, the Village took the concerns of residents into account when planning the budget.

Kokodynsky said the Village’s decision to increase its community-wide mosquito sprayings comes into play, in part, because of growing public awareness and concerns regarding Zika and West Nile Virus.

“Our residents like to be out in nature; that’s why they live in Homer Glen,” Kokodynsky said. “A lot of them have ponds in their subdivisions, and because of those retention ponds, you’re going to have more mosquitos.”

Since 2005, Will County has reported 67 cases of West Nile and two deaths. There haven’t been any instances of West Nile Virus in the county the last two years. To date, there haven’t been any confirmed cases of Zika Virus in Will County.

“There are municipalities that do not provide mosquito spraying services, but due to the fact that we are a community that embraces nature, and our subdivisions reflect that, we provide the service,” Kokodynsky said.

According to the Will County Health Department, there are 12 active species of mosquito in the Homer Glen area.

Kokodynsky said community input is important when it comes to the Village’s mosquito control efforts.

“Usually, what it takes is 10-15 calls within a few days to basically trigger a phone call to Clarke Mosquito,” she said, noting the how the village typically responds.

The Village allotted $50,000 to Clarke Environmental Mosquito Management to pay for the added contractual obligations for mosquito control services. The new work—if the Village opts to use the fourth spraying—will add about $12,000 to the agreement formed last year.

Clarke Environmental Mosquito Management, according to the contract, will send out helicopters and trucks with anti-mosquito traps and spray ultra low-volume cold aerosol mosquito treatment, covering all streets in the community.

“The ultimate goal is to make sure that our residents are receiving the best possible services,” Kokodynski said.

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