THE DESPLAINES VALLEY MOSQUITO ABATEMENT DISTRICT encompasses a 77 square
mile area of the Des Plaines River and Salt Creek valley in the western suburbs of Chicago,
Illinois. This area is bound by the Cook DuPage county line on the west, North Avenue on the
north, 87th Street/Des Plaines River on the south, and Harlem Avenue on the east except in
Oak Park where Austin Boulevard is the eastern boundary. The District is comprised of Lyons,
Oak Park, Proviso, Riverside, and River Forest townships and includes thirty one villages.
The District is intersected from north to south by the Des Plaines
River and in the southern quarter by the Sanitary Drainage and Ship
Canal. Other waterways include three major creeks flowing into the
Des Plaines River and 4.5 miles of ponded water of the defunct
Illinois and Michigan Canal. Property composition is estimated as 73
percent residential, 18 percent industrial, 8 percent Forest
Preserves, and 1 percent rural or undeveloped.
The Desplaines Valley Mosquito Abatement District is an
independent municipality, established in 1927 by the “Mosquito
Abatement Districts Act” which provided for the organization of tax
supported mosquito abatement districts within Illinois. It is one of the
two original mosquito abatement districts formed under this Act. The
District was initially established to control nuisance mosquitoes,
primarily Aedes vexans (Meigen) which were produced annually from
predominant lowland plains and marshes. However, as more knowledge was attained about
specific species and their direct link to disease transmission established, this new dimension
of disease vector control was added to the purpose of mosquito abatement. Currently, both
nuisance and vector control operations are carried out by the District. Since its inception, the
District's control measures have undoubtedly been influential in the residential and industrial
growth of the area.
The District is administered by a five member Board of Trustees who are appointed by the
Cook County Board for four year terms as provided by Illinois statute. Five full time
employees comprise the permanent staff. During the summer months, up to twenty four
seasonal employees are employed. Operations are financed totally from a tax on real estate
within the five townships of the District.