To better understand the ecology of West Nile virus transmission in Northern Colorado, field studies were conducted in Larimer and Weld counties from September 2003 through March 2005. During summer studies, 18,540 adult mosquitoes were collected using light traps and gravid traps. West Nile virus RNA was detected in 24 of the 2,140 mosquito pools tested throughout the study area in 2003 and 2004. Culex tarsalis had the highest minimum infection rate (MIR) in both 2003 (MIR = 34.48) and in 2004 (MIR = 8.74). During winter studies, 9,391 adult mosquitoes were collected by aspirator from various overwintering sites including bridges and storm drains. The most frequently collected species was Culex pipiens. West Nile virus was not detected in our overwintering collections. The relationship between spring adult emergence and temperature inside and outside overwintering sites is described. Species composition of collections as well as the spatial and temporal distribution of West Nile virus detections are presented.
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Vol. 23 • No. 1