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Longmont Finds 1,100+ Mosquitoes With West Nile Virus; Spraying Planned

LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – Due to a mosquito population that's unusually high for September, a company contracted by the City of Longmont will spray for adult mosquitos Thursday night. The company, Vector Disease Control International, will spray in eight of 12 zones designated by the city.

(credit: CBS)

So far this year, people in six Colorado counties have been hospitalized with the virus from mosquitoes, including four cases in Boulder County.

Spraying will occur between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. in the following areas:

  • Jim Hamm, Sandstone Ranch
  • Longmont Union Reservoir
  • Great Western/Mill Village
  • St. Vrain Greenway at Emery St.
  • Longmont Meadow View
  • Stoney Ridge/Alpine Elementary
  • Rough and Ready

"The sheer number of mosquitoes is significantly greater than what the average has been," said Dan Wolford, West Nile Program Manager. "The same thing with the Culex Mosquito, the species that typically carries West Nile Virus."

(credit: CBS)

According to Wolford, the city doesn't usually turn to spraying unless a site has at least 150 female mosquitoes, with some carrying West Nile.

Last week, one site had more than 1,100. While a large percentage at the site was Culex, Wolford said the number has significantly dropped already.

"When we've got the wet season that we've had this year, combined with the heat, it's what one would say is the perfect storm," Wolford said.

(credit: CBS)

The chemical sprayed to control the population contains permethrin, which the city has used since 2003. Wolford said they've found no negative effects to humans so far, but for some, the jury is still out.

"My dog is sniffing around there in the grass and nobody needs more poison," said Robert O'Reilly, who plans to avoid any sprayed areas.

Others in town told CBS4 they recognize the need for spraying.

"I think it's a good interim solution," said Lisa Halbert. "Longer term I think there are things we can do to clean up our ecosystem and make it more balanced."

(credit: CBS)

Nonetheless, Wolford says it's only a small part of mosquito population control, which includes participation from residents.

He points to what he dubs the "four D's." They include wearing Deet or some alternative, dressing in long sleeves and pants, staying inside from dusk to dawn, and draining standing water.

"We do our best to be a part of the solution as an integrated means of management, but there are certainly individual responsibilities that are needed too," Wolford told CBS4.

Thursday night's spraying could be the last time the city uses the tactic this year.

LINK: Longmont West Nile Spraying


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