The drought is discouraging only some insects in Illinois. The mosquitoes which carry West Nile virus actually thrive, according to a University of Illinois expert. Extension entomologist Phil Nixon says, “The northern house mosquito actually prefers the putridness to concentrate, and when it rains, they actually lay fewer eggs. They’re quiet biters; you normally don’t notice them (biting), but they pack a wallop in that they transmit West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis.”

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The Japanese beetle is another pest which you may see in greater numbers in the drought, Nixon says.

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