City of Chicago to spray insecticide on Wednesday to kill mosquitoes

August 15, 2023

Targeted efforts protect Beverly and Washington Heights residents from West Nile Virus

CDPH Public Information Office

CHICAGO - The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is continuing its efforts to protect residents against West Nile virus. Based on results from its citywide mosquito surveillance program, CDPH has determined the need to spray to kill adult mosquitoes in two communities this Wednesday, August 16, 2023: Beverly and Washington Heights. This is the first spraying to occur in the city this season.

Weather permitting, the spraying will begin at dusk on August 16 and continue through the night until approximately 1:00 am, with licensed mosquito abatement technicians in trucks dispensing an ultra-low-volume spray. To download a map of the spray zone, click here.

“While spraying adult mosquitoes is important to protect Chicagoans, the best way to prevent West Nile virus infections is to protect against mosquito bites,” said Dr. Janna Kerins, a medical director at CDPH.

Each year, CDPH conducts a comprehensive mosquito surveillance, prevention, and control program to protect residents from West Nile virus and other diseases spread by mosquitoes. In addition to spraying, this program includes placing larvicide in catch basins to limit the number of mosquitoes that can carry the virus, and trapping mosquitoes throughout the city and testing them for West Nile virus. By using data, the city is able to most efficiently target high-risk areas for the virus.

The material being used to control the adult mosquitoes, Zenivex™, is approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and has been widely applied to control mosquitoes in outdoor residential and recreational areas. The spray will be applied by licensed mosquito abatement technicians from Vector Disease Control International, a leader in the mosquito control industry. Guiding the crews through the streets will be supervisors from the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation.

The spray is not harmful to people or pets and is routinely sprayed in residential areas across the nation. If residents are concerned about the spraying they can choose to stay indoors and close their windows while it is underway. CDPH staff will be leaving door hangers in the affected areas to notify residents that the spraying will occur.

CDPH reminds residents that the most effective way to prevent West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites.

  • Use insect repellent that contains DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
  • Eliminate standing water. This includes emptying water from flowerpots, gutters, pool covers, pet water dishes and birdbaths regularly.
  • Keep grass and weeds short to eliminate hiding places for adult mosquitoes.
  • When outside between dusk and dawn, wear loose-fitting, light colored clothing including long pants, long sleeve shirts, socks and shoes.
  • Check that all screens, windows and doors are tight-fitting and free of holes and tears.
  • Check on neighbors regularly who may need additional assistance, including the elderly.

West Nile virus cannot be transmitted from person to person. Instead, it is transmitted strictly through mosquitoes. Most mosquitoes do not carry the virus. Additional information on the virus, including symptoms and how to protect against the virus can be found on the CDPH website.

**For photographers and camera crews interested in b-roll and photos of spraying, the staging area for the spraying will occur at 9400 S. Genoa St., Chicago, at 8:30 pm, with spraying beginning at dusk.**