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 Tuesday, June 8, 2004 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Campus Works to Take the Bite Out of Summer
By Allison Sylvest

Summertime on campus brings peaceful days, lunchtime breaks spent beneath shady trees-and mosquitoes! It's time once again to be on guard against the West Nile virus, the troublesome and potentially fatal disease passed from infected birds to humans through the mosquito's stealthy bite.

Wardenburg Health Center, Facilities Management, the Department of Housing and Risk Management recently met with the Boulder County Health Department to convene a campus taskforce that will focus on risk reduction, prevention and education.

As part of the county's One Bite Campaign, Wardenburg will distribute information on reducing exposure to mosquitoes and will hand out DEET-treated towelettes campuswide from the Wellness Wagon during the course of the summer.

"We want to encourage people to protect themselves," said Bob Cranny, director of the Wardenburg Health Center. "It's important to reduce risk by using repellent, dressing properly and avoiding the outdoors during peak mosquito feeding times at dusk and dawn."

Integrated pest management, a division of Facilities Management, is taking several precautions to control the mosquito population on campus.

"We want to eliminate the possibility of larvae hatching out in the first place," said Edward Von Bleichert, IPM coordinator. "Mosquitoes can complete their life cycle in as little as five days in the warmest weather. Eliminating sources of standing water including gutters, puddles and tire ruts is key."

IPM tries to take a different approach to mosquito control that does not require the use of pesticides, which Von Bleichert says addresses only the symptom and not the source.

"It's a decision-making process that starts with knowing the biology of a pest," said Von Bleichert. "We trap adult mosquitoes to count the number of each species, because some are more aggressive and efficient than others."

Von Bleichert said this year they are expecting high numbers of the most aggressive mosquitoes, x culex tarsalis and x culex pipens.

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