Do you hunger for a little more advance notice about when those noisy spraying machines are going to be hunting down those pesky and unhealthy mosquitoes in your Evanston neighborhood?

The City of Evanston has an email and/or text alert for that!

The spraying is done by the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District (NSMAD), and they don’t let the city know when they’re going to spray until about 48 hours ahead.

But if you subscribe to the mosquito alert, you’ll know about it almost as soon as city officials do.

Here’s what you do:

Go to the city’s website, select subscription type, enter your email or wireless number, and then choose “Mosquito Abatement” under the “Special Interest” section. Alerts will be sent with the information provided to the city by NSMAD.

Spraying for mosquitoes is not done on a routine basis, but only when needed, according to Dave Zazra, communications officer for the district.

NSMAD’s approach to mosquito control is known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which is comprised of surveillance, source reduction, larval control and adult mosquito control.

IPM has proven to be the most efficient and environmentally sound method of controlling the local mosquito population while minimizing potential deleterious effects to non-target species, such as your house pets, according to NSMAD.

Their goal is to make the North Shore as mosquito-free as possible while protecting the public’s health and the environment.

Most spraying is done in the late evening to early morning hours as weather permits. Because six cases of individuals carrying the West Nile virus have turned up in Evanston so far this summer, with more cases expected, NSMAD is particularly on the alert for evidence, such as dead birds,

If you should happen to find a dead bird on your property, you should call the city on its 3-1-1 number, and an animal control specialist will be dispatched to retrieve it and to notify NSMAD.

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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