Based on high levels of infected Culex mosquitoes trapped last week, the Larimer County Health Department is hoping to decrease the risk of human West Nile virus infection by spraying for mosquitoes on the eastern edge of Fort Collins and adjacent Larimer County.
Mosquito infection rates and densities are high in the area scheduled for spraying. This area stretches from Timberline Road to I-25 and from Prospect to Harmony.
Although the criteria required for the city to perform spraying have not yet been met, the Health Department considers the infection level in this area a significant risk to human health, and spraying may help reduce further spread of the infection. Currently there are 6 confirmed cases of West Nile virus in Larimer County, and 2 more under investigation.
The Health Department will be doing adult mosquito control on Wednesday, August 17 and Sunday, August 21, weather permitting. Spraying will occur by fogging trucks on both Wednesday and Sunday and will begin at 8:30pm and end by midnight each night.
The City of Fort Collins will assist the Health Department with public notifications, messaging about the spray areas, and education on preventing West Nile infection.
Adult mosquito control has been going on for several weeks in Loveland, Timnath, Windsor, Johnston and most recently Berthoud, as well as in certain subdivisions within Fort Collins that are sprayed by homeowners associations.
West Nile virus can be prevented. In addition to community control efforts, such as larviciding, reducing water where mosquitoes can breed, and spraying for adult mosquitoes, individuals should remember to use the 4 D’s to help prevent West Nile virus disease:
• DEET or other effective mosquito repellent – Use a mosquito repellent that has been proven to be effective against West Nile Virus-carrying mosquitoes. DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (also called p-menthane-3,8-diol or PMD) and IR3535 are good choices.
• Dusk to Dawn – Avoid exposure during peak Culex mosquito feeding times, from dusk through dawn.
• Dress – Wear long sleeves and pants to keep mosquitoes from biting.
• Drain – Remove standing water in your yard or garden to minimize mosquito breeding areas.
For more tips on what you can do to prevent West Nile virus, visit Larimer.org/westnile.