LONGMONT — The city of Longmont will begin citywide spraying to attack a troubling population of West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes, acting on a recommendation from Boulder County Public Health. City Manager Harold Dominguez authorized the measure Thursday and said residents will be given 48 hours notice before the spraying begins. “We know that there are some people who like to leave while the spraying is being conducted.”
The City Council voted 7-0 to spend $50,000 from its contingency fund for the operation, to be carried out by Colorado Mosquito Control Inc.Boulder County Public Health plans to have its own contractor, Otter Environmental Inc., spray the Boulder County Fairgrounds area northeast of Hover Street and Nelson Road—as well as some unincorporated “buffer” areas within the county that lie outside Longmont—on Thursday night, according to Lane Drager, a consumer protection coordinator with the county department. Marshall Lipps, a Boulder County Public Health environmental health specialist, said the citywide spraying by Longmont’s contractor would replace the more localized routine spraying already scheduled for tonight.
Drager said the county’s recommendation for citywide Longmont spraying stems from a “continued high vector index.” That’s the ratio of West Nile virus positive-testing mosquito pools collected from Longmont traps to the overall population numbers of the Culex mosquitoes being caught in those traps — the species whose females’ bites transmit the virus.
Colorado Mosquito Control was to have sprayed the following areas on tonight: the Jim Hamm Nature Area and the Sundance community; Sandstone Ranch; Mill Village/Great Western Drive; Willow Creek/Clover Basin, including areas south of Nelson Road and north of Clover Basin Drive; the St. Vrain Greenway from Main Street to Sandstone Ranch; and Watersong/Creekside.
Five mosquito pools collected from multiple Longmont traps on Sunday have tested positive for West Nile virus, county health officials said Tuesday. That marked the fourth week in a row that mosquitoes collected from Longmont area traps have tested positive for the virus. Boulder County Public Health also is recommending that Weld County spray for mosquitoes in areas outside Longmont’s eastern borders, Dager and Lipps said.
In this area of the state, West Nile typically begins showing up in humans in August and September, Drager said, but those people often were exposed through mosquito bites beginning in July. “It only takes one bite,” Drager said, for a person to at least be exposed to the virus. Meanwhile, the town of Erie has added Kenosha Estates, north of St. John and the Greening/Allen Avenue loop, to the areas that the town is having Colorado Mosquito Control spray on tonight, town officials announced on Tuesday.
Erie had already said that in response to mosquito activity in some areas within the town, there would be limited localized spraying at: Erie Community Park and the Historic Downtown Erie area that’s north of Balcolm, south of Evans, east of Main and west of Kattell.
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