Illinois’ summer has been, for the most part, too moist and cool for the sort of mosquitoes which carry the West Nile virus. The common inland floodwater mosquito – a “noisy biter” – thrives in this kind of condition, says Phil Nixon, extension entomologist at the University of Illinois.  But it’s the northern house mosquito which is responsible for more angst.

 

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That one “normally doesn't fly more than a half mile, or a mile, and, typically, much less than that” in its lifespan, Nixon says. “It's a stagnant water, stinky water, discolored water-breeding mosquito that is what we call a ‘quiet biter’ … you don’t notice the bite.”=

Nixon says while body chemistry dictates how susceptible you are to bites and their effects, the best thing you can do is use a repellent containing DEET and forget about bracelets and candles, unless they also have DEET.

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