DENVER (KDVR) — It’s mosquito season again, and this summer could bring a surge of the blood-sucking insects to Colorado.
Because of the recent wet weather around the entire state, there could be enough moisture to support a boom in the mosquito population, Alan Polonsky, an environmental analyst with the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, told FOX31’s Ashley Michels.
It has even raised concerns about West Nile virus. Colorado had the most cases and deaths last year with 204 cases and 18 deaths, according to the CDC. The state with the second highest number of cases was California, with 168 total cases including 11 deaths.
How to keep mosquitoes away
Empty out standing water weekly
Standing water, both indoors and outdoors, can be hot spots for mosquito eggs and larvae.
The CDC recommends emptying, scrubbing, turning over, covering or throwing out any items that hold water, including tires, buckets, gutters, planters, saucers, vases, trash containers, tanks, pools and birdbaths, etc. at least once a week to remove potential mosquito eggs and larvae.
Water storage containers, like buckets, cisterns and rain barrels, should be tightly covered so mosquitoes cannot get in, according to the CDC. Wire mesh with small holes can be used to keep mosquitoes out.
If you have a septic tank, make sure there are no cracks or gaps that need to be repaired, and any open vents and plumbing pipes should be covered.
Indoor mosquito control
Mosquitoes rest in dark, humid places during the day, according to the CDC. Those places could be in your home: under sinks, in showers, under furniture or appliances.
To keep the pests out of your home in the first place, make sure windows and screens are sealed properly and use screens when opening doors and windows.
Once mosquitoes are inside, you can use indoor insecticides to kill and treat areas where they rest. However, using more than one insecticide product in the same location can present a risk to health and the environment as well as affect the effectiveness of the insecticides, according to The National Pesticide Information Center.
Not all insecticides work the same, some are meant to stunt growth and reproduction, some work immediately to kill and others take time to work. The NPIC has resources to research which insecticide is safest and most effective for your home.
Outdoor mosquito control
Outdoor insecticides and larvicides can also help control the population of mosquitoes outside your home. Larvicides should only be used to treat large bodies of non-drinking water that cannot be dumped out or covered, according to the CDC.
Adulticides, however, can be effective for killing mosquitoes where they rest in dark, moist areas like under patio furniture, under plants, tall grassgutters, carports and decks etc. These should not be used on fruits and vegetables in your garden.
Tree holes are another place where mosquitoes lay eggs when they are filled with water. If there is a tree hole that does not hold water, it may not need to be filled as it can provide nesting sites for wildlife.
If it does hold water, the CDC recommends filling the hole with expanding foam used for home insulation products. You do not need to clean out the hole before filling it.