West Nile tip of the week | PostIndependent.com

West Nile tip of the week

Editor’s note: The Post Independent and Garfield County will team up every week to bring you a West Nile tip of the week.By Steve AnthonyGarfield County Vegetation ManagementAs of July 15, there have been 19 reported cases of the West Nile Virus in humans in Colorado.Seventeen of these are West Nile fever cases, one of the cases is encephalitis, and one is meningitis.The counties hit so far are Adams, Boulder, Fremont, Kit Carson, Larimer, Logan, Pueblo, and Weld. The first case on the Western Slope was confirmed this week in Mesa County.We are getting to the time of the summer where many of our towns have various celebrations and events during the next few weekends. Let’s get out and enjoy the festivities and make sure we have the “mosquito repellent of choice” with us when we are at these events, especially during the evening hours.Last week we reviewed a “Home and Garden Maintenance Checklist” – things you can do around the home. We went in alphabetical order, and this week we will finish the list of easy-to-do activities that will reduce mosquito breeding habitat and make a difference. • Playground equipment: Monitor playground equipment that holds water and drill holes in tire swings and other equipment that may contain water.• Ponds: Use mosquito dunks or BTI in ponds. The mosquitoes will breed around the shallow edges of the pond where there is vegetative cover. This is where the BTI should be placed. Follow instructions for safe use.• Potted plants: Do not overwater plants. Empty saucers weekly or flush with a garden hose. Drill small drainage holes in outdoor saucers.• Rain barrels: Cover tightly with screening.• Rain gutters: Keep gutters clear of debris. They can become breeding areas with standing water.• Recycling bins: Drill drainage holes in bottom of recycling bins.• Screens: Install and maintain tight-fitting window and door screens.• Shrubbery: Keep all ornamental shrubs and bushes trimmed and pruned to open them up to light and air flow. This will not only give mosquitoes one less place to hide, but will promote growth and vigor in the plant. • Tool sheds: Keep shed roofs maintained and eliminate water around foundation.• Trash: Remove anything that can hold water including cans, cups, tin foil, plastic, and paper since they can hold mosquito larvae. • Trash cans: Keep trash cans covered. Remove buckets and containers from around trash areas.• Umbrellas: Table umbrella and basketball bases often are filled with water. Cap tightly, seal with duct tape or fill with sand and cover tightly.• Weeds: Remove weeds or keep them mowed, especially around areas close to water.• Wheelbarrows: Store wheelbarrows vertically or turned over to prevent accumulation.Remember, standing water means mosquitoes. Any standing, stagnant water that remains for five days after a rain can, and usually will, produce mosquitoes. For example, one coffee can full of water has been shown to produce in excess of 10,000 mosquitoes over an entire summer season.Have fun and enjoy the weekend and keep that repellent ready to go.

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