Aug 292004
Authors: Julie Abiecunas

With the sharp decline in the mosquito population this season, the university was once again able to refill the lagoon outside the Lory Student Center.

“We’ve killed 2.2 billion mosquitoes in water, many of which were near campus,” Doyle said.

Due to this year’s mild weather, the threat of mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus has greatly decreased, said Mike Doyle, director of Colorado Mosquito Control.

Although mosquito counts are on the decline, the university is hesitant to say the problem has completely disappeared. CSU is continuing to do weekly checks on the lagoon to make sure no larvae have started developing there.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” said Earlie Thomas, director of Environmental Health Services on campus. “We could get hotter weather yet and have a return to the problem. We’d have to have warm weather for that to happen though, and as you know we haven’t had too many warm nights so far this summer.”

Warmer nights in summer 2003 intensified West Nile. University officials were picking up five to 18 dead birds infected with the West Nile virus weekly. According to Thomas, Environmental Health Services hasn’t had to pick up a single dead bird yet and so far the West Nile virus has shown no signs of making a return on campus.

CSU, along with Colorado Mosquito Control, has taken an aggressive approach this year to getting rid of the insects.

Colorado Mosquito Control is still spraying and using larvicides to reduce chances of West Nile. Larvicide’s allows the university to get rid of mosquitoes before they ever have the chance to develop into adults, Thomas said.

Many students are happy of this return to a greener campus.

“It adds a lot,” said Drew McDonald, a sophomore Spanish major. “It makes the campus look a lot prettier.”

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