The North Fork Mosquito Abatement District is warning residents that mild cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in the North Fork area. Residents are urged to use preventative measures to avoid mosquito bites, including wearing of protective clothing, long sleeves and pants, and repeated application of mosquito repellent, especially at dusk or when dining outside or attending events at outdoor venues.
Added precaution should be taken to protect children, older adults and those with compromised immune systems who may be more susceptible to the effects of WNV.
The Culex mosquito is one of five main mosquito species in the valley and the only one that can carry WNV. According to information posted by the NFMAD on social media, samples taken from North Fork area traps have indicated that populations of Culex in some areas are currently infected with WNV. Found throughout the valley, Culex are "dawn and dusk feeders" and are not the aggressive "field" mosquitoes that emerge during the day.
The NFMAD is increasing larval treatment and targeted fogging of the indicated locations and sources of both WNV and Culex mosquitoes. Mosquitoes seek humidity, and a female mosquito can lay 100 eggs in an inch of water, which will hatch within five to seven days. In light of recent rain showers, residents are asked to police and empty any standing water, and to water lawns and gardens in the morning to allow humidity to disperse before evening. With local irrigation ditches being turned off early, NFMAD is also anticipating an increase in mosquito populations until ditches dry up completely.
A large area of Delta County not served by either NFMAD or Delta District No. 1 is resulting in uncontrolled breeding of mosquitoes. This creates tremendous pressure on the western and southern areas of Hotchkiss at the borders of the NFMAD boundaries. Due to a severe underfunding, the district can't extend services outside of its 50-square-mile area.
For updates and more information, visit and "Like" the North Fork Mosquito Abatement District Facebook page, or visit NFMAD.org. To report increased mosquito presence or possible sources for mosquito breeding, including areas where water remains standing for more than three or four days, call 970-527-6681.