Everyone in northern Colorado is no stranger to the mosquitoes that run rampant in the summer. While the bites from them are nothing short of frustrating, Fort Collins is also warning families to be proactive and protect themselves from the West Nile virus.

Back in July 2021, the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment reported the first positive test of the West Nile virus in mosquitoes. The extra kicker is that the Culex mosquito, the type that carries the virus, has a population count three times higher this year than previous seasons.

The intense heat northern Colorado is experiencing this year, coupled with afternoon thunderstorms, create favorable conditions for the mosquitoes.

Currently, there are no human cases reported of West Nile virus. However, Mark Lawley, Executive Director of the Weld County Health Department, says  “The public needs to be vigilant because West Nile virus has a permanent summer presence in Colorado".

Credit: CDC, West Nile Virus Activity map

Weld County and Larimer County have released a cheat code for the public to take preventative measures to protect themselves from mosquitoes and the West Nile virus: The 4 Ds to Beat the Buzz.

Drain

Mosquitoes love standing water. Drain any stagnant water in your yard each week. Breeding grounds for mosquitoes are places like bird baths, clogged gutters, and kiddie pools.

Dress

When outside, wear lightweight clothes than cover you from wrists to ankles. Even though you're fully covered, spray clothing with bug repellent since they will still bite through clothes.

Defend

Apply insent reppellent sparingly to any exposed skin as well.

Dusk Through Dawn

Mosquitoes are most active from dusk till dawn. Limit time spent outside during those hours. If you are outside, a citronella candle wouldn't hurt.

 

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