Based on high levels of infected Culex mosquitoes trapped last week (Aug 3-6), the Larimer County Health Department is hoping to decrease the risk of human West Nile infection by spraying for mosquitoes in an area north of the Poudre River. At this time, the Health Department will be spraying only certain neighborhoods that are in the county but not in the city of Fort Collins.
Mosquito infection rates and density are high in this area, and there has been a confirmed West Nile case in this part of the city, in addition to the two blood donors previously reported.
The risk index for the area north of the Poudre River has reached 0.85, above the 0.50 threshold that the Health Department considers a significant risk to human health. However, the city’s criteria for spraying have not yet been met.
The Health Department has outlined an area with high residential density that should be a priority for spraying and will be doing adult mosquito control in the neighborhoods that are outside the city limits on Thursday, August 13 and Monday, August 17, weather permitting. If new test results available on Friday indicate the city’s spray criteria are met, the city could consider adding the municipal neighborhoods in the priority region to Monday’s spray efforts.
Some of the neighborhoods in the priority area include most but not all residential areas south of Douglas Rd; primarily east of College Avenue (but including some mobile home parks on the west side of North College Avenue); and primarily north of Vine Street, but dipping down to Buckingham in the Tres Colonias area. The eastern boundary is LeMay at the south end, but from Lindenwood going north, it includes subdivisions on both sides of Turnberry Road.
According to Dr. Adrienne LeBailly, Health Department Director, “We would welcome the city’s participation in doing control in the priority area neighborhoods that are within the city limits.”
The city will assist the Health Department with mapping the spray area, public notifications, messaging about the spraying and preventing West Nile Infection.
Adult mosquito control has been going on for several weeks in Loveland, Timnath, Windsor, and Johnston, as well as in certain subdivisions at the discretion of homeowners associations.
West Nile Virus can be prevented. In addition to community efforts, such as larviciding, reducing water where mosquitoes can breed, and spraying for adult mosquitoes, individuals can 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.