WNV-carrying mosquitoes prompt fog-spraying in areas within Loveland
Contact: Public Works, 962-2524
Recent positive tests for West Nile Virus (WNV) in mosquitoes trapped at two Loveland locations have prompted preventive fog-spraying in some areas by the City’s contracted mosquito control service.
Evidence of the mosquito season’s annual peak in late July and early August shows in the rising numbers of adult mosquitoes found during daily trap counts in numerous locations spread across the City. The two positive WNV tests, normal occurrences since the virus first arrived in 2002, were near Cattail Pond in southwest Loveland and near Boyd Lake on the City’s east side.
Loveland has joined most other Colorado Front Range communities in contracting for the services of Vector Disease Control International (VDCI), a specialist in detection, analysis and preventive measures aimed at mosquito populations responsible for the spread of WNV and other insect-borne diseases. West Nile can cause serious illness in humans.
VDCI focuses its preventive work on mosquitoes in the larval stage whenever possible, since killing the larvae is the most environmentally friendly means of control. The company locates, maps and samples breeding sites and treats them with larvicide when they are found.
Mosquito fog-spraying, conducted in selected Loveland zones during the past week, is triggered only when adult mosquito populations reach target nuisance thresholds 100 nightly per trap or when evidence shows likelihood of diseases such as West Nile virus.
For example, when counts of the Culex mosquito species that carries West Nile Virus exceeds 50 per trap in a given zone, VDCI will initiate fog-spraying of that zone in order to reduce the disease threat to humans. Loveland’s highest recent trap counts this year have been near flood irrigation sites.
Residents can help control the mosquito population by eliminating standing water sources that can become breeding sites. Almost any amount of water that stands for more than five days has the potential to produce mosquitoes. Even small amounts can produce large numbers of these pests.
WNV can also be prevented. In addition to VDCI’s larvicide and fog-spray efforts, the company and Larimer County health officials recommend these “four Ds” to help prevent disease:
- DEET or other EPA-registered mosquito repellents that are shown to be effective against West Nile Virus-carrying mosquitoes.
- 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 information on Loveland mosquito activity, including an interactive map that shows trap counts and fog-spray schedules, please visit www.vdci.net/colorado.