Mosquitoes are a natural part of the environment we live in, but they can be a health threat because of their ability to transmit several diseases, including West Nile Virus. More than 45 different mosquito species are found in Colorado. The mosquito species Culex tarsalis is the most abundant WNV vector in the state. Peak mosquito season is typically from July through September. Adults of Cx. tarsalis and the other WNV vector, Cx. pipiens overwinter in protected areas.
One of the best ways to control mosquitoes is to eliminate habitat for egg-laying and larvae (also called wrigglers). Watch our new YouTube video for tips from the experts. From spring through summer, keep an eye out for standing water, in birdbaths, tires in play areas, flowerpots, or trashcans and lids. Turn over pails and empty planters or anything that can hold stagnant water. Either empty the water once a week or remove the receptacle. Make sure that rain gutters are clear and flowing; avoid overwatering turf. Maintain the water in ornamental ponds and other receptacles that require water to function.
You can also apply Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (or Bti),a bacterium with insecticidal properties, to aquatic habitats. Commonly known as mosquito dunks, they kill larval mosquitoes and are effective in areas of standing water that can’t be drained. Bti is a pesticide and should be applied according to label directions.