Mosquito fogging in Berthoud

Good morning Berthoud,

In the past couple of days I have received some calls and emails with regard to the West Nile program the town implemented a month ago. First and foremost, I would like to assure everyone every message was listened to, every comment was read. The opinions and feelings of each resident of the town is important to the board. What makes things difficult for the board members at times is some of the reasons stated for the opinions. Incorrect or incomplete information, fabrication, exaggeration, or accusations do not help the situation. Those of you who asked questions and requested future reassessment of the current policy are being heard and we are interested in getting accurate information back to you when we can get accurate and verifiable answers.

Mayor Steve Mulvihill

I am going to try and articulate how the system works and answer some of the questions that were asked based on incorrect information.

  1. The mosquito policy was followed by staff to the letter. No one made a decision to vary from the policy nor was there an option for staff based on the current policy.*
  2. No single board member has the authority to unilaterally change the policy. Those of you who were directed to communicate with Trustee Buckridge and myself only, were misinformed.
  3. The feedback that was received from residents was 10 times more in favor of the fogging than against it.
  4. Not only have we implemented the most extensive larvacide program in Northern Colorado, the larvacide efforts were increased in the areas around the trap that indicated a large increase in problem mosquitoes. The town tripled the larvacide budget for this year over past years.
  5. The town was the last among surrounding communities to fog this year. In fact, our response had to be delayed due to the fact Fort Collins had beat us to the commitment for the service available.
  6. The program we have implemented has only been in effect for 30 days. There is about another six weeks before the normal West Nile season comes to an end. Before we can honestly assess the real effectiveness of the program and make any adjustments, the actual results of our efforts have to be assessed. There is no single approach that is going to solve this problem. We are at the forefront in trying to attack this problem. Now we need to see if it is working as planned.
  7. We do not pretend to be experts on West Nile Virus. However, we do rely on the input and evaluation of several official resources for our data. Among them are the County Health Department, CSU laboratory, the center for disease control and the USDA. If there are better sources we want to hear from them. If there are proven alternatives we want to know about them. We have already spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars trying to address this program. Information is the key to any solution. The more we can gather the better our future decisions. We cannot adjust the policy every week based on erroneous data. Once the program has concluded and we can have the effectiveness evaluated we can then make necessary adjustments for the next season.

Last, but not least, this is a disease with no cure. This is a disease that can kill horses and birds. And yes, this is a disease that can cripple and kill humans. Anything that can be done to reduce the potential for one human affliction or fatality is worth the effort. All things being equal, protecting the health and safety of our residents is our primary responsibility. Larimer and Weld counties are in the top five of the thousands of counties in the United States for instances or reported West Nile virus. No one has actually stated a reason for this, but that is a fact. You can make your own deductions. Your mayor and your trustees are doing their absolute best to address this situation. I can deal with people not being happy with me and not voting for me.  I refuse to be careless with my responsibility to protect the people of this town.

Thank you all for your taking the time to read this.  We all love this town.


Steve Mulvihill

Mayor, Berthoud




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