Mosquitoes fester with momentum

It’s mosquito season again, and the little blood-suckers are back with a vengeance.

A rainy, wet spring mixed with warm summer temperatures provided perfect breeding conditions for the insects, and experts say they are bracing for a busy year as the mosquito population booms.

“It’s one of the worst seasons we’ve seen in awhile,” said Zane McCallister, manager of the Grand River Mosquito Control District.

As the Colorado River swelled past its banks, surrounding areas became saturated, creating larger viable areas for mosquitoes to breed.

“More areas are wet, and that opened up breeding sites a couple hundred yards from the river,” McCallister said. “We’re finding mosquitoes in areas we haven’t seen before.”

Although the Grand Valley mosquito population is surging, the cooler spring temperatures delayed the insects’ presence in the valley by almost three weeks.

Usually the population peaks in the beginning weeks of June, McCallister said. This year, the population peaked in the last week of the month.

The Grand River Mosquito Control District began waging a war against the insects before populations peaked. The district has 10 full-time employees who began applying environmentally friendly larvicides to breeding grounds across the valley in April.

However, just because your neighborhood has been treated for mosquitoes doesn’t mean you can skip the bug spray, McCallister warns. He strongly urges residents to use insect repellents with DEET whenever they are outdoors. Additionally, residents should cover skin when outside, eliminate standing water in their yards and avoid the outdoors at dusk and dawn, which are peak hours for mosquito activity.

For people who choose to lounge outside in the summer, McCallister recommends warding off the insects with repellents that can be applied to grass and foliage.



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