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Cosmopolitan Mosquitos Flock to Chicago

By Andrew Peerless in Miscellaneous on Aug 22, 2005 1:38PM

2005_8_mosquito.jpgChicago is clearly one hell of a place: we like it, you like it, tourists like it, and - this year - even mosquitos seem to be having a love affair with our town. Yes, it's West Nile season once again, ladies and gentleman, and this year's mosquito crop appears to be especially fond of Chicago. Of the 28 human West Nile cases that have been reported in Illinois this year, 21 have occurred parts of Chicago and the greater Cook County area.

The most recent handful of cases was confirmed just this weekend, leading the city to immediately resume its abatement program Sunday night (essentially, spraying an insecticide (awesomely known as "Anvil*") in problem areas). Things kicked off on the south side and will continue up north today.

Anvil may sound pretty awesome, but plenty of people fear its effects. It's essentially a synthetic version of chemical known as a Pyrethrin, which includes ingredients on EPA lists of danerous, toxic and carcinogenic substances. For more info on Anvil and West Nile in general, go here.

In the meantime, the Illinois Public Health Department wants us all to wear socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts while outdoors to keep any ill-intentioned mosquitos at bay. Chicagoist recommends lots of deodorant, too, if you're really going to be wearing something so stuffy during our fabulous summer weather. On second though, perhaps they should add "gas mask" to that list if the Anvil-sprayers are going to be coming around...