We haven't had to deal with them in several months, but Rockford is rapidly approaching a full-on onslaught from the world's most hated flying pest.

Mosquitos are already back, and their numbers are starting to grow. That means more spraying, slapping, and itching. Don't forget to tack on the potential for a life-threatening disease like West Nile Virus.  Illinois had 90 confirmed West Nile virus cases last year, three of them in Winnebago County.

Oh, and then there are the ticks, carrying lyme disease. The Illinois Department of Public Health reports Lyme disease cases have increased over the past few years, from 135 cases in 2010 to 237 in 2016.

What can you do (besides wearing the "Boy in the Bubble Suit" outfit until the first freeze)? You can start with the "3 Rs."

The health department suggests we follow the three R's, reduce, repel, and report. First, reduce the number of sites where mosquitoes might breed. Second, you can repel the bugs by wearing long sleeve clothing, use insect repellent that contains DEET, and hire companies to spray your home. Finally, make sure to report dead birds and stagnant water to the health department.

For those of you with a strong DIY (Do It Yourself) work ethic, try a couple of these ideas:

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