Colorado has a particularly aggressive species of mosquito, which is why the number of human cases of west nile virus have skyrocketed in the state. Experts say the mosquito thrives here because of the high altitude.
It's called the culex tarsalis mosquito, more commonly, a high altitude species of mosquito. They live in areas up to 10,500 feet. And, they are the bugs responsible for transmitting the west nile virus from birds to humans.
In other parts of the country, mosquitos feed mostly on birds and the occasional mammal. The culex tarsalis, however, is indiscriminate and likes humans as much as anything else.
The high altitude mosquito isn't picky about it's breeding environment either. They can reproduce in flower pots, rain drains, tin cans and gutters, pretty much anything that can hold standing water. Biologists say a 12 inch bird bath is an ideal place for thousands of new mosquitos to hatch. One female can lay as many as 300 eggs in as little as seven to 10 days.
Experts say taking precautions in Colorado is especially important. People should always use repellant with DEET when going outside around dawn and dusk.
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