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West Nile Virus detected in mosquitos in Longmont

The city will begin spraying Longmont neighborhoods after West Nile Virus-positive mosquitoes were caught in three traps.

LONGMONT, Colo. — The city of Longmont will begin spraying for mosquitoes this week after West Nile Virus was detected in the area.

West Nile Virus was identified in three mosquito traps in Longmont this week, and a large amount of Culex mosquitos were found in the majority of traps, the city said.

The mosquitos that tested positive for West Nile Virus were found in traps at the following locations:

  • Hamm Park (17th Avenue and Weld County Road 1)
  • Renaissance/Meadow View (Airport Road and Buckthorn Drive)
  • Izaak Walton Park (First Avenue and Sunset Street)

A total of 10,773 mosquitos were found in traps last week, up from 7,138 the previous week. The percentage of Culex mosquitos, which are the primary carriers of West Nile Virus, jumped up to 27.4% last week compared to 18.9% the previous week. The highest concentration of Culex mosquitos was at Izaak Walton Park (57.3%).

"Just be cautious," Scott Severs, a Senior Wildlife Biologist for Longmont, said. "I spoke to Boulder County Public Health and they say this is an above average year for mosquitoes in our area but not as high as last year, which was kind of a record year for our mosquito detections."

According to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), in 2021, Colorado had 175 cases of West Nile. Of those, 112 were hospitalized and 11 of them died. It was the largest number of West Nile deaths in 18 years.

CDPHE data indicates that so far there have been no human cases of West Nile virus this year. 

"I’ve had colleagues in other agencies that have caught it when it first entered North America and I can think of one friend that had very debilitating symptoms," Sever said when sharing the best practices to avoid being bitten.

The city of Longmont encourages residents to follow the 4 D's of prevention:

  • Defend yourself by spraying on an insect repellent
  • Dress in long sleeves and long pants
  • Dusk and dawn -- avoid being outside during those times, it's when mosquitoes are most active
  • Drain any standing water, to keep mosquitoes from breeding

The city's mosquito control contractor, Vector Disease Control International (VDCI), will spray to eradicate for the first time this season between 9 - 11 p.m. on Thursday night, weather permitting.

Spraying is triggered when West Nile Virus-positive mosquitos are discovered in Larimer, Boulder or Weld counties and when Longmont traps exceed 150 mosquitos per trap.

The city released a list of zones that will be sprayed this week:

  • Jim Hamm (LM-03)
  • The Shores  (LM-17)
  • Sandstone Ranch  (LM-22)
  • Union Reservoir  (LM-23)
  • Great Western/Mill Village (LM-27)
  • St Vrain Greenway (LM-28)
  • Creekside  (LM-31)
  • Renaissance  (LM-34)
  • Lanyon Park/Stoney Ridge  (LM-41)
  • Izaak Walton Park (LM-42)
  • Rough & Ready South  (LM-43)

More information about the city's integrated pest management program can be found on its website.

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