PHYSICAL MITIGATION AND SITE EVALUATION
January 2021: NFMAD is currently in off-season status. Controlled burning of potential breeding sites will commence in February/March depending on weather conditions, under the auspices of the Hotchkiss Fire District and Doug Fritz. As the North Fork spring weather occurs, please police your property particularly irrigation channels, pond in and outflows, and any potential areas of standing water for mitigation. Mosquito breeding can only happen in standing water.
April to October 2020: Due to Covid-19 pandemic considerations, physical mitigation of private property has been delayed due to number of crew allowed by the state and federal governments. Controlled burning, under the Hotchkiss Fire District, continues as weather and conditions permit. NFMAD has participated and financially supported resolution of the “lake” issues by the Hotchkiss City Market. All other projects have been brought to completion, with the exception of areas of Pumpkin Hollow riverfront and the UP railway corridor…both require approval and financial grants from the Army Corp of Engineers. These problem areas are beyond the legal and financial scope of NFMAD.
Physical mitigation of potential and known mosquito-breeding sites is happening all over the North Fork District currently, utilizing burning, track hoe and backhoe, and shovel crews. The drought of 2018, and subsequent use of domestic water as irrigation ditches went off early, revealed many potential previously unknown breeding sites throughout the District. Our crew has been making visual assessments over the 50 square miles of the District, while also working on drainage and site evaluations.
Treatment has begun in known hot spots, in anticipation of warmer weather, despite no evidence of larvae in standing water. It is far too early for trap data to have meaning, until we have higher nighttime temperatures, so feedback from residents is essential to success.
Now is the perfect time to take a look at your home and work areas for standing water, drainage that needs cleaning, low spots in fields, etc. Are you noticing adult mosquitoes? Please let us know. If you need help with looking at your property, please call NFMAD at 970-527-6681 and leave a detailed message. We are currently booking free site evaluations, with openings at various times, Monday through Friday.
Are you having an event this summer? A wedding, family reunion or other gathering of people? Please call and have our Ops Manager, Garrett Park, come and take a look to see if barrier spraying would be helpful.
Given the vast territory of the North Fork District, and our limited funding, NFMAD needs the cooperation and vigilance of all residents! We thank you in advance for all efforts to eradicate mosquito-borne illness in our community.
The 2019 season has begun!
Garrett Park and the crew are working hard all over the North Fork District using various forms of physical mitigation to open up drainage, remove beaver dams, clear out irrigation water pathways, etc., all to avoid potential mosquito breeding habitat formation. Some of these areas are well known hotspots from previous seasons, problems observed over the course of treatment and surveillance, or new findings as the crew continues to search for the causes behind adult mosquito hatches.
Physical mitigation is done using backhoe, track hoe, and shovel crews, along with the trapping and relocation of animals such as beavers. How is your property? NFMAD Field manager, Garrett Park, is available to evaluate your site, to assess the best possible approach to decreasing mosquito breeding habitat while keeping the free flow of water moving off the mesas and heading back to the river. This service is available free to North Fork District residents. Call 970-527-6681, and leave a detailed message to schedule an appointment.
Call the NFMAD voicemail line, 970-527-6681 to schedule with Garrett.
NFMAD is currently using trackhoes to physically break up and remove beaver dams, while also trapping and relocating the beavers whenever possible. This requires a two-phase approach of destroying the dam, and within one week, returning to again remove all dam materials.
Do you have beaver damage on your property? Whenever the free flow of water is obstructed, mosquito breeding habitat can result in short order!
The use of fire in a controlled burn to open up drainage of water and decrease mosquito habitat MUST be utilized with extreme caution, under the supervision of the Fire Department. The weather conditions must be within narrow parameters to safely burn off a ditch or weed-choked area that is blocking the free flow of water. Contact the Field Manager for options on this form of physical mitigation.
Every property owner has the power to decrease mosquito breeding habitat by cleaning up ponds, drainage ditches, and irrigation waterways. It is also imperative to remove all forms of standing water, including changing bird baths, and planter bottoms regularly. Even something as simple as a vase of flowers left outside is enough water for many mosquito species to lay eggs! Culex species that carry West Nile Virus are known to lay eggs in as little as two inches of water in a boot or hoof print.
Any blockage of the free flow of water, whether it is rainfall or irrigation, or just a hose left running, will cause temporary mosquito breeding habitat! Be aware of protecting yourself and your family by policing your own garden, decks, fields, and livestock areas. Noticing a problem off-site? Give the Field Manager a call at 970-527-6681 so NFMAD crew can check the area for issues, and find a solution BEFORE adult mosquitoes hatch.