Stapleton residents want action: Mosquitoes are so bad they can’t spend time outside

Pond in Denver's Stapleton development

Pond in Denver's Stapleton development

DENVER — There is a showdown at Stapleton over mosquitoes as residents say they’ve had enough and they want action.

More than 1,000 people have signed an online petition asking for better mosquito management in the east Denver community.

Part of the problem is the immense number of green space, parks and retaining ponds.

Jess Coppom is a mom on a mission. “We’re just a bunch of residents that are concerned about the safety of our families.”

She says mosquitoes may sound like a trivial problem, but at her home in Stapleton, it’s more than that. “I had no idea that we weren’t going to be able to spend any time outside because of the mosquitoes,” she said.

So she started an online petition. She’s hoping for some kind of solution, saying, “Whether the best one is spraying or larvicide or some natural predators.”

But the solution may not be that easy. Denver Environmental Health and Stapleton Master Community Association already use larvicide in the pools of water throughout the community and Denver doesn’t spray for mosquitoes.

Meghan Hughes with Denver Environmental Health said, “We don’t spray. We have found that larviciding tends to be more effective because it addresses the eggs before they hatch.”

Hughes does say that they are willing to work with Stapleton if the community wants to spray. “At this point, the city is not considering spraying. If they want to hire a private contractor to do spraying, that’s up to them.”

Keven Burnett, Executive Director for the Stapleton Master Community Association, says they’re working with the neighborhood associations to conduct a poll about spraying. “If it’s something that the city feels that they would authorize, which we haven’t gotten an answer back, and if it’s something that the community stands behind, then we’ll do it.”

For Jess Coppom and her neighbors, they just want to enjoy the parks. “When Stapleton was developed they did such a good job of planning in a lot of outside spaces and activities for people. Unfortunately people just haven’t been able to take advantage of them,” she said.

It’s also more than just bug bites, a lot of folks are worried about West Nile since it’s popped up in neighboring counties.

Denver Environmental Health hasn’t started testing for the virus, but will in the coming weeks.