A quiz on summertime health hazards (copy)

Pesky mosquitoes are more abundant this year because of a wet spring, which has produced considerable flooding. State officials recommend the use of insect repellent to ward off the creatures.

It’s another sign that summer has arrived in Illinois: The state is putting out its first mosquito warning.

There always are mosquitoes in Illinois in the summer, but the Illinois Department of Public Health said the mosquitoes might be worse this summer.

Areas that have had a lot of rain or flooding can expect to see a lot more mosquitoes, department spokeswoman Melanie Arnold said.

“With all of the flooding we are seeing a lot more mosquitoes,” Arnold said. “But they are typically floodwater, or what we call nuisance mosquitoes. They tend not to carry disease. They are like their namesake suggests, a nuisance.”

Arnold said bug spray is the best bet to keep the mosquitoes away. But she said long sleeves, pants and long socks also can help.

“In warmer conditions, a lot of people don’t want to do that,” Arnold said. “So, the next best thing is to wear insect repellent. One with DEET is recommended. And try and stay inside between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.”

Arnold said mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus breed in stagnant water. They could become more plentiful if the state’s weather takes a sharp, warm turn.

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