As high season for mosquitoes begins, there are things you can do to get through it with as few bumps as possible. Remember that mosquitoes generally remain active throughout the summer or until evening temperatures drop into the 40s, so these tips can be useful into September!
Denver’s Mosquito Management Program works to reduce public health concerns and provide information that can keep mosquito populations at a safe level.
While recent headlines have focused on the Zika Virus, which is spread most commonly through mosquito bites, the mosquito that spreads Zika lives mostly in tropical and subtropical regions of the world and is not found in Colorado. The risk of Zika coming to Colorado and spreading through mosquito bites is very low.
The state does experience the West Nile Virus, however. While the risk of exposure to West Nile Virus is low, Denver traps and collects adult mosquitoes at five sites across the city, then sends samples to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for testing to determine if the West Nile Virus is present in local mosquito populations.
You can protect yourself from bites by following the tips below:
• Limit outdoor activities at dusk and dawn.
• Wear pants and long sleeves when outdoors.
• Wear mosquito repellant containing lemon eucalyptus oil, DEET, picaridian or IR3535.
For more information on insect repellants, visit www.epa.gov/insect-repellents.
Mosquitoes can be a nuisance, especially if you live near waterways and natural areas, but there are steps you can take to manage them in and around your home:
Don’t create breeding sites
• Dump standing water from containers, tires, birdbaths, gutters and buckets around your home on a regular basis.
• Do not overwater your yard, as it can create standing water in gutters and storm sewers.
• Properly maintain fountains and swimming pools to ensure circulation, or drain and cover if not in use.
Mosquito-proof your home
• Install screens on windows and doors.
• Make sure roof gutters are not clogged and holding water.
• Incorporate xeriscape (non-watered landscaping) to further help reduce the number of mosquitoes in your neighborhood.
How the city helps
• The city focuses on preventing mosquitoes by:
• Surveying larval mosquito populations citywide, and applying larvicide, which kills mosquito larvae, when conditions warrant it.
• Trapping, counting and testing adult mosquitoes to monitor for West Nile Virus.
• Investigating and responding to resident complaints.
• Partnering with neighborhood organizations and other land owners to assist them in controlling mosquitoes.
Here’s more on the Zika Virus: www.bit.ly/29Bl0c3.