The City of Longmont Mosquito Management Program can provide services to residents regarding:
- Information about mosquito biology and source reduction of mosquito habitats
- Information on program components, operations, and monitoring efforts within the city
- Seasonal West Nile Virus activity
- Personal protection options for mosquito annoyances and West Nile Virus risk
- Respond to reports and concerns of mosquitoes and possible larval mosquito habitats
- Perform larvicide applications to control mosquito larvae at no cost to the property owner
- Stock residential ponds with fat head minnows for biological control
Please call 970-962-2583 or 970-663-5697 to report any water that stands for more than 4 days, mosquito annoyance concerns, or for information regarding West Nile Virus prevention. Resident phone calls continue to locate new mosquito habitats, thereby reducing the number of mosquitoes in the backyards of the residents of Longmont.
In 2002, City Council voted in favor of establishing a formal mosquito control program in the City of Longmont. The purpose of the program is to protect residents from disease and annoyance through a comprehensive Integrated Pest Management approach. The 2011 larval control service area for the City of Longmont included approximately 28 square miles of private and public lands in the city limits of Longmont. In 2009 the City of Longmont and Boulder County Public Health agreed to cost share larval control efforts in a portion of unincorporated Weld County. The Weld County Service Area encompasses 9 square miles of unincorporated lands, east of County Line Road and south of Ute Hwy. Both entities recognize that this area presents a significant number of larval mosquito habitats, which can produce mosquitoes that will migrate into Longmont city limits and Boulder County. To date, 403 larval mosquito habitats are included in the regular inspection and larviciding program for the City of Longmont Mosquito Management Program. There were 5 new larval sites added to the routine inspection program in 2011. To date, 68 larval mosquito habitats are included in the regular inspection and larviciding program for the Weld County Service Area.
The primary objectives of the City of Longmont Mosquito Control Program is to suppress the development of larval mosquitoes in wetland and other sites, conduct surveillance of adult mosquito populations and provide limited adult mosquito control when predetermined disease and annoyance thresholds have been surpassed. These objectives are reached using a framework of Integrated Pest Management whose goal is to provide the greatest level of control of pest and disease vector mosquito populations while maintaining a balanced use of cultural, biological, and least-toxic chemical procedures that are environmentally compatible and economically feasible.
Larval Control Efforts in the City of Longmont
This environmentally focused program always uses biological control choices first to reduce mosquito populations at the source…the aquatic larval habitats. Larvicide applications are designed to reduce mosquito populations below established disease thresholds.
Field technicians methodically inspect larval habitats twice a week, weekly, bi-weekly or post rainfall, as deemed necessary based off of historical data. A technician may spend the day inspecting a variety of habitats ranging from urban mosquito breeding locations (storm drains, catch basins, wading pools, paddle boats & tire piles), as well as cattail marshes, stagnant ditches, reservoir edges and irrigated pastures. Inspections are performed to determine whether larval mosquitoes are present or not at a site. Once the presence of mosquito larvae is confirmed, larvicides are applied. In 2011, 86.3% of the total sites inspected were wet upon inspection and 43.5% were producing mosquito larvae in the City of Longmont. An estimated 336 million mosquito larvae were eliminated before emerging as biting adults via larvicide applications. In 2011, 86% of the total sites inspected were wet upon inspection and 40% were producing mosquito larvae within the Weld County Service Area. An estimated 42.5 million mosquito larvae were eliminated before emerging as biting adults via larvicide applications.
CMC’s favored method of larval mosquito control is through bacterial bio-rational products. The main product used by CMC is a variety of naturally occurring soil bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis var. israeliensis. Bti as it is known has become the cornerstone of mosquito control programs throughout the world. The benefits include its efficacy and lack of environmental impacts. When used properly successful control without impact to aquatic invertebrates, birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, or humans can be achieved. A broad label allows for the use of this product in the majority of the habitats throughout the service area.
2011 Surveillance Trapping Operations
Data on mosquito abundance and species identity is critical in the operation of a successful mosquito management program. Over the past few years, identifying, packaging, and sending Culex mosquito samples to the CDPHE labs for West Nile Virus testing has also become critically important in the battle against West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases. The purpose of a surveillance program is to be an early warning system. In other words, the system is intended to alert mosquito personnel of an impending health crisis. The key is that the system gives enough advance warning that mosquito control personnel can work with County Health Departments and City Officials to take effective steps in minimizing the number of human cases.
In 2011, Colorado Mosquito Control monitored a statewide network of hundreds of weekly trap sites, collecting over 900,000 adult mosquitoes that were counted and identified to species by the CMC Surveillance Laboratory. While individual traps provide only limited information, trap data is interpreted in the context of historical records for the same trap site, going back in time more than a decade. Individual traps are also compared to other traps from around the region that were set on the same night and therefore exposed to similar weather conditions. Technicians working in the Surveillance Laboratory at Colorado Mosquito Control, Inc. are trained to provide accurate species-level identification of mosquito specimens, for both adults and larvae. More than 50 mosquito species are believed to occur in Colorado, and 32 of those were identified from samples processed during the 2011 season from across the state.
Additionally, the CMC Surveillance Laboratory conducts an intensive larval identification program with larval mosquito samples collected by I&L technicians prior to larviciding. CMC identifies larvae to species level. This information is valuable for targeting mosquito control efforts as we gain a greater understanding of the habitat types preferred by Colorado mosquito species and the seasonality of mosquito species.
CMC employs two kinds of traps to monitor mosquito populations. The CDC light trap uses carbon-dioxide from dry ice as bait to attract female mosquitoes seeking a blood meal from a respiring animal. Once attracted by the CO2, the mosquitoes are lured by a small light to a fan that pulls them into a net for collection. The gravid trap uses a tub of highly-organic water as bait to attract female mosquitoes that are looking for a place to lay their eggs. A fan placed close to the water surface forces mosquitoes that come to the water into a collection bag.
In 2011, an average of 11 surveillance light trap locations monitored adult mosquito populations within the City of Longmont. The surveillance locations for the City of Longmont included: Fox Hill Golf Course (LM-02), Jim Hamm Nature Area (LM-03), Boulder Co Fairgrounds (LM-06), Ash Court (LM-12), Hartley Court along Left Hand Creek (LM-13), The Shores/McIntosh Lake (LM-17), St. Vrain Greenway at Emery Street (LM-28), Sandstone Ranch (LM-22), Union Reservoir (LM-23), Ute Creek Golf Course (LM-24), and Willow Farm Park (LM-26). The Twin Peaks Circle (LM-18) trap replaced the Ash Court (LM-12) trap to obtain a better representation of mosquitoes on the Twin Peaks Golf Course. Surveillance trapping began June 1st and trapping was concluded on September 7th in all areas halted by cooler temperatures during the first weeks of September.
In 2011, 181 surveillance light traps were set within City of Longmont, which collected 48,786 total mosquitoes. The average number of mosquitoes collected per trap per night was 270 and the average number of Culex spp. mosquitoes collected per trap per night was 60. The percent composition of mosquitoes collected in 2011 included 77.5% (37,830) Aedes/Ochlerotatus spp., 22.2% (10,850) Culex spp., and .2% (106) Culiseta spp. mosquitoes.
CDPHE West Nile Virus Mosquito Testing Results
The Vector Index (VI) has been studied by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and CDPHE since the detection of West Nile Virus in 2003. The Vector Index is widely applied in the assessment of West Nile Virus risk on a weekly basis across the State of Colorado. As defined on the CDPHE website, The Vector Index (VI) is a measure of infection rate adjusted for Culex mosquito populations within a given area. The value is an estimate of the number of West Nile Virus infected mosquitoes collected per trap per night. The data suggests that a vector index of .75 or above is an indicator of high risk for West Nile Virus transmission to human in the area.
Refer to www.cdphe.state.co.us/dc/zoonosis/wnv/wnvsentinel.html.
This value is closely monitored by Boulder County Public Health and the CDPHE to evaluate the risk posed by the vector mosquito population. The Vector Index did not surpass .75 during the 2011 season. A total of 185 mosquito samples containing 5,901 Culex spp. mosquitoes collected from the City of Longmont were submitted to the CDPHE for WN testing in 2011. Of these, 1 sample pool, containing 59 Culex spp. mosquitoes returned WN+ from Boulder County Sentinel Zone 2.
Adult Mosquito Control
The goal of Colorado Mosquito Control, Inc. is to provide all residents of Longmont with the best options for safe, effective, modern mosquito management. The primary emphasis of our mosquito management program is to control mosquitoes in the larval stage, using safe biological control products. This environmentally focused program maintains adulticiding applications as a last resort when mosquito populations surpass risk thresholds of 100 mosquitoes in a given trap night. Mosquito surveillance trapping results are used to make data-driven decisions regarding areas that need to be sprayed for adult mosquito control. Adult mosquito control spraying is targeted to specific sectors determined by this trap data, thereby reducing the area sprayed and the frequency of spraying in each sector.
CMC uses all available data from CDC light traps, gravid traps, Mosquito Hotline annoyance calls, and field technician reports to focus adult mosquito control efforts on specific, very limited “targeted” areas. In parts of the community where high numbers of mosquito annoyance calls are received, “floater” CDC light traps are set to evaluate adult population levels and species make-up. In many cases, a direct correlation is evident between areas with high complaint calls and high trap counts. While this correlation allows us to focus adult control in these areas, the emphasis is placed on finding the larval habitat sources of the trapped adults and continued larval control measures.
CMC worked with the Daily Times Call to provide resident notification of mosquito adulticide applications again this year. CMC utilized mosquito trapping data collected on Sunday evenings each week, for reporting to the City of Longmont on Mondays. The City of Longmont would make decisions, based on mosquito trap counts, as to the areas to be included in mosquito spraying for that week. CMC communicated the areas to be included to the Daily Times Call for posting in the Times Call on Tuesdays. CMC also posted the spray schedules for the City of Longmont on CMC’s website on Mondays and remained posted through Wednesday, the day of applications. All mosquito spraying was scheduled and completed on Wednesday evenings in 2011.
CMC uses state of the art technology, calibrated application timing, and least-toxic products to minimize non-target impacts. All adult mosquito control is accomplished using Ultra Low Volume (ULV) fogging equipment and performed after dusk when the majority of mosquito species are most active. This type of equipment produces droplets averaging 12 microns in diameter and allows for a minimal amount of product to be put into the environment. These treatments take place in the evening when mosquitoes are flying in greater numbers and non-target insect activity (for example, day-flying pollinators like bees) is greatly reduced. Using this application technique, the overall goal of minimal environmental impact and effective adult control is achieved in the targeted area.
In 2011 CMC utilized the water-based products AquaLuer 20-20 and Envion for ULV adult mosquito control. Both use the highly effective pyrethroid Permethrin as their active ingredient, while the water-base provides a much more environmentally sound solution to traditional petroleum oil-based adulticides.
A total of 269.8 miles (18 hours @ 15 mph) were fogged in 2011. Please note that CMC sprayed additional sections of the St. Vrain Greenway not included in past years, as a result of the trail connection to Sandstone Ranch in 2011.