Illinois uses tire purchases to combat mosquitoes, Zika virus - KMOV.com

Illinois uses tire purchases to combat mosquitoes, Zika virus

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Zika virus (Source: AP Images) Zika virus (Source: AP Images)

(KMOV.com) – A tax on new tires is how the state of Illinois has decided to combat mosquitoes and the Zika virus.

Health officials say old tires in landfills are prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes after storms because they fill up with standing water.

“We’re identifying places in Zone One, which is east and west across the state,” said Alec Messina of Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “It’s through Effingham and we’re identifying locations now.”

The EPA is teaming up with health officials to use a $2.50 fee attached to any new tire purchase to the removal of tires from public and abandoned lots.

According to EPA officials, the Metro East is in an area that is considered to be the first part of Illinois where Zika mosquitoes could turn up.

St. Louis County health officials say they’re concentrating on controlling Zika by spraying for mosquitoes in neighborhoods where Zika victims caught the virus while traveling abroad.

A mosquito can travel one mile in a single night, but officials say no mosquitoes are carrying Zika in Illinois or Missouri, but the Center for Disease Control says one of the two species that can carry the virus is native to this area. 

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