Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy

Pest control season starts soon


April 13, 2018

Marshall Lipps, environmental health specialist for Boulder County, wants residents to know that they will soon start seeing mosquito traps and fogger trucks around the county.

With nicer weather approaching, the county will be making the annual effort to curb the pesky insects.

“Our focus is to try and target the larval (aquatic) stage of the mosquito before there are adult mosquitoes flying around and biting people,” Lipps said. “That’s 90 percent what we’re doing out there. We do set traps and monitor the adult population and do testing for West Nile.”

As for the West Nile virus, Boulder County had more than 20 cases last year. There is no need for concern about malaria or the Zika virus, as the mosquitoes that typically carry those diseases do not live in the area.

“We do see West Nile every year, it’s something that’s here to stay,” Lipps said. “West Nile is certainly up there as a concern for us.”

He said that the county usually starts in mid-May and goes until August or September, depending on the weather.

After the larval stage is when the fogger trucks go to work, but they don’t spray indiscriminately.

“It’s not just the trucks going down the road and spraying,” Lipps said. “We set our traps out and monitor the population, and we do have to have a minimum in (the trap) before we start spraying in an area.”

He said that this is a practice that has evolved from the days of heavy pesticide use.

“You’re not going to do yourself any favors by just spraying,” Lipps said. “You really want to monitor and do the evaluation to understand the problem before you start making decisions on how to control that problem.”

The product they use is permethrin, a synthetic version of the natural insecticide created by the chrysanthemum. The fogger is calibrated to ensure the spray is used efficiently.

For more information on mosquitoes, West Nile or to view the spray schedule, visit www.bouldercountymosquito.net.


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