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The Grand Valley saw lots of rain in May. Some areas of Grand Junction received 2.52 inches of precipitation, quite an increase over the average of 0.87 inches. Fruita and Palisade had about 3.18 inches and Collbran topped its average of 1.39 inches by more than 2 inches.

Mesa County residents should be aware that increased precipitation levels could lead to increased mosquito populations. More mosquitoes often means a higher risk of contracting West Nile Virus.

Throughout the 2014 season, Mesa County Health Department recorded 4 confirmed cases and 3 possible cases of West Nile Virus. None of the cases were fatal. One of the two confirmed cases and 7 probable cases reported in 2013 was fatal.

It’s important to take precautions to limit the numbers of mosquitoes near your home and on your property.

Drain standing water around the house. This is where mosquitoes lay eggs. Tires, cans, flowerpots and clogged rain gutters can hold standing water on your property. One discarded tire with standing water can produce tens of thousands of mosquitoes over a season.

Be sure to use insect repellent with DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon or eucalyptus, dress in long sleeves and pants or stay indoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

Mesa County Health Department works with Grand River Mosquito Control District to monitor mosquito populations and test for infected mosquitoes. The Health Department also investigates confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus and can respond in urgent situations.