Statement from Town Administrator’s Office
In an effort to reduce the risk of human West Nile virus infection, and with the support of the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment, the Town of Berthoud sprayed for mosquito control on July 24 and 25.
The decision to spray is not taken lightly. The Town’s West Nile Virus Integrated Management Policy follows a data driven approach to determine when spraying for adult mosquitoes should occur. Once the vector index, or risk level, reaches .5 or above, per Town policy, spraying is to commence town-wide.
On Monday, July 17, Berthoud significantly surpassed the risk level threshold with a test result of .847 and results from July 24 remained elevated at .47. In addition to seeing elevated risk levels in Berthoud, tests show high-risk levels in other areas of Northern Colorado, which indicates that the virus has spread from a localized location to other areas. The longer the Town waits to fog the more the virus will continue to spread and the harder it will be to contain. Experts from the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment, Colorado State University, and Vector Disease Control International agree that the risk level is undoubtedly elevated and will continue to rise, and that spraying was the best course of action.
Spraying operations are designed to maximize effectiveness while minimizing the impacts to residents. Spraying two nights in a row increases the success of fogging, which in turn reduces the risk of human West Nile virus infection. According to the Town’s policy, fogging begins at 10 p.m. weather permitting. Due to the poor weather conditions on Tuesday night and the forecast of heavy rains beginning at 11 p.m., the start of spraying operations was moved up to 9:29 p.m. to better ensure the effectiveness.
Testing on Wednesday night after the fogging operation indicated early success. The amount of mosquitoes trapped declined significantly to an average of 12 mosquitoes per trap on Wednesday night compared to an average of 207 mosquitoes per trap night prior to spraying.
The recent decision to spray for mosquito control followed existing policy and was also the responsible action to take to stop the disease cycle as quickly as possible to support public safety.
Town of Berthoud Communications
970-797-2015 ext. 101