DENVER (CBS4)– The mosquito population along the Front Range is ready to surge and with that so are concerns for the West Nile virus.

“I’m always wary of bugs that are around,” said mother Kim while protecting her 8-month-old daughter, Hannah, from mosquitoes.

“There is a lot of standing water,” said Colorado Department of Environmental Health spokesman Doug Kelley.

The department has started trapping, testing and counting mosquitoes.

“We actually monitor more than 60 locations across the city and that may increase this year,” said Kelley.

Because of Colorado’s wet spring, the mosquito population is expected to surge. Standing water in low-lying areas are the perfect conditions for breeding mosquitoes.

“Now we have that standing water and after about seven days that water becomes stagnant and that makes a wonderful breeding ground for mosquitoes,” said Kelley.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Last year 118 people in Colorado contracted the West Nile virus and four of those died.

Kelley said treating the trouble spots as needed now will help keep those mosquito populations down which they help will keep cases of West Nile to a minimum.

“We dip to see if there is larva in the water and if there is, we treat it,” said Kelley.

The Department of Environmental Health is warning residents to be extra vigilant especially as the Fourth of July holiday weekend approaches and more outdoor activities are planned.

“In the Denver metro area we haven’t had any for quite some time but we want to make sure it stays that way,” said Kelley.

Health officials say the best way to avoid mosquitoes is to wear insect repellent and avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn.

LINK: Colorado Department of Health’s West Nile Virus Page

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