Critter Guide

Critter Guide

Cicada Killer Wasps

“Cicada Killer” wasps (Sphecius speciosus) can be seen in the dry sand areas (sandboxes, ballfields, etc) at some of our parks during the late summer season. While they are relatively harmless, their presence may alarm park visitors. The use of insecticides has proven ineffective on these pests and the district wishes to avoid spraying in high-use playground and park areas. The best course of action is to stay clear of these wasps should you encounter them. To learn more, click here.


Mosquitoes are a nuisance that can spread disease (not to mention a pesky annoyance at outdoor summer activities). Control of mosquitoes in Glenview is handled by the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District. Click here for more information about the work of this agency.


Over the past few years, an increasing number of coyotes have been spotted in urban areas including Chicago and the North Shore. While spotting a coyote in the Glenview area is rare, the image below showing the difference between the footprints of a coyote and of a domestic dog may be helpful to residents in detecting the presence of a coyote on their property.

For those interested in learning more about coyotes in the Chicago area, here are links to several useful resources.

Gypsy Moths Threaten Area Trees and Plants

The gypsy moth is a leaf-eating insect that feeds on trees and shrubs and is among the most destructive insects in the U. S. It is capable of stripping plants bare, leaving them vulnerable to secondary insect and disease attacks.

Mature females lay their eggs in late summer, but most damage occurs in May and June when the caterpillars feed on leaves. The caterpillars have five double rows of dark blue spots, followed by six double rows of brick red spots on their dorsal surface. They also have a thin yellow median stripe along the length of their back.

Although the caterpillars prefer oak leaves, they will eat from more than 500 kinds of shrubs and trees and thus are known to be the most destructive forest and landscape pests in the United States, according to the University of Illinois Extension Program officials. Though there is no known way to eradicate the gypsy moth infestation, there are steps homeowners can take to minimize gypsy moth damage before the moths are sighted. These include planting trees that are hearty and will thrive in your location, taking good care of the trees you have by watering well during dry season, fertilizing and pruning, and protecting tree bark from damage caused by mowers and trimmers.

Glenview is a quarantined area for the gypsy moth and egg masses have been spotted and destroyed at The Grove. If you see tan colored egg masses as shown in the photograph at left on tree bark or other surfaces on your property, they should be removed and destroyed immediately. Simply scrape them directly into a sturdy plastic bag, seal it, and throw it into the garbage, or scrape them directly into a container of soapy water to immediately kill the larvae, then transfer them into a sturdy plastic bag, seal it, and throw it into the garbage.

To find out more about the Gypsy Moth and to receive a copy of the University of Illinois Extension, “Homeowner’s Guide to the Gypsy Moth in Illinois, call 1-800-345-6087 or click here to review a copy of the Guide’s Frequently Asked Questions.

Geese: Our Fine Feathered Friends or Not?

For the past fifty years the giant Canada goose population has been thriving thanks mostly to the successful efforts of fish and wildlife agencies to restore their populations. The giant Canada, most commonly seen in the Chicago-land area is the largest type of Canada goose.

General Information

  • The giant Canada goose is perfectly happy in urban and suburban areas. Expansive golf courses, neatly mowed lawns, business parks and recreational fields many dotted with ponds, lakes, and water reserves are perfect nesting area.
  • In March/April Canada geese build nests in protected areas usually on the ground.
  • The giant Canada mates for life.
  • The geese will lay 4 to 8 eggs per nest and incubation lasts approximately 28 days. About 75 percent of those will become goslings by the fall flight season.
  • Each female will produce more than 50 young in her life span.
  • Canada geese can be aggressive to humans and pets during nesting season and to protect their brood.
  • In mid-June, the geese begin molting their outer wing feathers and re-grow new ones. During this molting period geese will are flightless for 45 days and gather on ponds or lakes since they provide a safe resting place.
  • Canada geese are grazers and move their broods to areas chosen for suitable food supply, visibility, and proximity to water.
  • Messy, messy, messy. Large flocks can leave large amounts of fecal material. Though studies have found no health risk related to geese droppings, it is never wise for humans to handle animal fecal material. The Glenview Park District routinely cleans sports fields and golf courses.

Don’t Feed the Geese…

It is never wise to feed wild animals. Feeding the geese encourages them to flock to areas in unnatural numbers. And, bread does not provide the proper nutrients for geese! If geese fill up on the wrong nutrients they won’t consume the proper natural food they need to grow flying feathers.

Red-Winged Blackbird

The red-winged blackbird is one of the most common and abundant birds in North America. They are fierce defenders of their nests, harassing all those that come close. Though smaller than the American robin, the red-winged black bird will think nothing of harassing hawks, crows and other large birds that pass over and will commonly escort humans away by hovering close and making angry calls.

The red-winged blackbirds can be found throughout the Glenview community and have reported to exhibit aggressive behavior in certain areas of the Glenview Park Golf Club, Flick Park, and Community Park West. Signs are posted in several of these areas warning visitors of the presence of red-winged nests.

Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer is an insect that attacks and kills trees which have been weakened by stresses such as drought, disease, and mechanical injury. Emerald Ash Borers have now infested the Glenview area. To learn more about this destructive pest, click here.


In Illinois there are several species of ticks that can be found, but only the American dog tick, lone star tick, blacklegged (deer) tick, brown dog tick and winter tick are likely to be encountered by people. Ticks are arachnids that wait for their host animals at the tips of shrubs and grasses, and will climb onto a host when brushed by a moving animal or person. Ticks cannot jump or fly, they only crawl. There are some preventative measures that can be taken to keep from getting tick bites when in natural areas:

  • Wear long sleeved shirts and pants
  • Apply insect repellent containing 10%-30% DEET to clothes
  • Walk in the center of trails
  • Check yourself and family members every 3 hours for ticks (ticks rarely attach to a host right away)

For more information on Illinois ticks, please visit