Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park
 

Common Questions About Mosquito Control

  1. What does Larimer County do for mosquito control?
    At this time Larimer County is not doing any mosquito control. For mosquito control work done in the cities of Fort Collins or Loveland, contact Colorado Mosquito Control at 970-663-5697 for Fort Collins or 970-962-2583 for Loveland. General information regarding mosquito control processes and chemicals can be found at the following web sites.
  2. Where can I report standing water?
    Contact the following depending upon your location.
    • Loveland: 970-962-2583
    • Fort Collins: 970-663-5697
    • LaPorte (southern area only): 970-663-5697
    • Timnath: 970-663-5697
    • Windsor: 970-962-2583
    • Wellington: 970-568-3381
    • Berthoud: 970-532-1600
    • Unincorporated Larimer County: Call either 663-5697 or 498-6775 to determine if you are within the City of Loveland's or City of Fort Collins' "Larval Control Buffer Zone
  3. How can I maintain my ornamental pond to avoid mosquito breeding?
    The following businesses in Larimer County sell fathead minnows:
    • Bennett's, 121 Bunyun Ave, 970-532-2213 (Berthoud)
    • JAX, 1200 N. College Ave. 221-0544 (Fort Collins)
    • Colorado Mosquito Control - call 962-2583 for information (Loveland)
    Fathead minnows are a proven method to reduce or eliminate mosquito larvae (i.e., immature mosquitoes) from ornamental ponds, stock ponds, and other semi-permanent to permanent water. Fathead minnows are able to feed in heavy aquatic vegetation and in small pockets where larger goldfish and koi cannot reach. They can withstand up to 80 degree water and will reproduce up to 4 times per year under optimal conditions. It is recommended to place between 250-500 minnows per surface acre of water (This equates to 1-2 minnows per 10 foot by 10 foot area, but adding a few more for a tiny pond does not appear to be detrimental). Fathead minnows can generally survive Front Range winters unless the pond is too shallow and/or freezes completely over. They appear to be compatible with koi and goldfish.
  4. What can I do to keep mosquitoes out of my House?
    Here are a few suggestions:
    • Keep doors and windows closed and/or properly screened to keep mosquitoes out. Repair or replace torn or damaged screens.
    • Placing screening on porches also is effective.
  5. What can I do to prevent Mosquitos in my yard?
    Here are a few suggestions:
    • In our dry environment, mosquitoes are very attracted to moist, cool, shady vegetation during the day, and to yards with high humidity at night. If you provide hiding places in your yard, you are more likely to be bit, and infected mosquitoes are more likely to live long enough to spread the virus to birds and other people.
    • Trim bushes away the ground (to approximately knee level) to allow air flow through the bushes and eliminate mosquito hiding places.
    • Water your grass as rarely as possible (every 4-7 days) to reduce humidity - thus repelling mosquitoes looking for hiding places.
    • Water your gardens with drip or soaker hoses instead of overhead spraying - this will also reduce your chances of being bit in the garden.
    • The best option is to reduce the amount of grass and water-loving plants. A dry yard is the safest yard.
    Eliminate mosquito breeding grounds:
    • Mosquitoes lay eggs in still water, such as in small containers in the backyard or large shallow puddles in irrigated fields. They emerge as biting adults in 5-to-7 days. Eliminate standing water weekly to destroy eggs. A half-inch of standing water is all mosquitoes need to lay eggs. Remove standing water in ponds, ditches, gutters, flowerpots, tires, and cans.
    • Check unusual items that might collect even small amounts of water, such as wheelbarrows, hubcaps, toys, garden equipment, pool covers, and plastic sheeting. Turn these items upside down to prevent them from holding water.
    • Drill drainage holes in tire swings.
    • Empty water in birdbaths and wading pools every week so mosquito larvae cannot survive.
    • Treat livestock water tanks with BTI, a bacterium that kills larvae but is safe for animals. BTI is available at home and garden stores and is commonly called mosquito "dunks". Always follow product instructions when using for animals.
    • Stock ornamental ponds and fountains with fish that eat mosquito larvae or treat with BTI. The Colorado Division of Wildlife recommends the use of Fathead Minnows, which can be purchased commercially at private fish hatcheries or one of several bait shops in Berthoud, Fort Collins, or Wellington. The division strongly recommends against the use of Gambusia fish.
    • Prevent standing water by not over watering lawns and gardens. Even gaps in sod will produce West Nile mosquitoes.
  6. Do Bats act as a Natural Mosquito Control?
    Studies have shown that while bats devour a huge number of insects, mosquitoes are only a small part of their diet. A study of bats in revealed that their primary food items were beetles, moths, and leafhoppers. A very small number of mosquitoes (0.7%) were found in the stomachs of bats in another study. Bats are "selective opportunists" when it comes to their feeding habits, and they will take a variety of prey. Why take a scrawny little mosquito when you can have a fat juicy moth?  Unfortunately, bats may also pose a health threat to humans and pets by being infected with rabies. Attempting to attract bats to your yard may increase the potential for human or pet disease.
Background Image: Rocky Mountain National Park by Sue Burke. All rights reserved.