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Environment

Larimer County To Spray For Mosquitoes In Southeast Fort Collins

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Insecticide spraying for West Nile infected mosquitoes will begin Friday, August 15 in the highest risk portion of Larimer County, an area that overlaps with part of southeast Fort Collins.

It will be the county spraying, not the city of Fort Collins.

So why is the county taking action?

"You really want to make spraying decisions based on the infection rate in the mosquitoes not on when human cases are reported..."

The Larimer County Health Department stated in an email that the vector index in the area is “is rising rapidly, from under 0.5 two weeks ago, to 0.77 last week, to 1.10 this week.” The area to be sprayed is bordered by Harmony road on the north, Carpenter on the south, Lemay on the west and I-25 on the east and has historically had higher numbers and more severe human cases than other parts of the county.

“You really want to make spraying decisions based on the infection rate in the mosquitoes not on when human cases are reported because you’re going to be missing the vast majority,” said Dr. Adrienne LeBailly, Director of the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment

In 2013, the Fort Collins City Council set a spraying threshold of a vector index above .75 as well as two human cases that must be reported in the same week. However, that threshold only applies to the city’s spraying program, not other entities like homeowners associations or the county.

The Larimer County Board of Health has approved the county’s spraying and the County Commissioners have also indicated their support.

The Health Department will pay for it out of the department’s public health emergency funds.

Spraying will take place between sunset and midnight August 15 through August 18. If weather prevents spraying on those days, the backup dates are Monday August 18 and Wednesday August 20.

LeBailly stressed that both community actions and personal actions help to reduce the risk of West Nile infection. Measures that individuals and households can take include:

  • Use a mosquito repellent that has been proven to be effective against West Nile Virus-carrying mosquitoes.  Ones that contain DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (with active ingredient PMD, or p-menthane diol) or IR3535 are good choices.
  • Keep exposed skin covered or use a repellent when outdoors, especially between dusk and dawn or on cloudy days.
  • Drain standing water in your yard or in your garden.
  • Add mosquito-eating minnows to or a mosquito “dunk” to ornamental ponds that feature still water.
  • Point a fan toward outdoor tables when eating out of doors to help blow away mosquitoes.
  • Use netting over baby carriers and strollers
  • Keep window screens repaired.

Information on the spraying will be available at www.larimer.org. The public may also call the West Nile information line at 970-498-6792.

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