As spring turns to summer here in Colorado, we’re starting to see the reintroduction of many different insects throughout the state.

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There’s some that are a bit perilous, like the buck moth caterpillar. Their spikes contain a poison that causes quite the painful sting if you come in contact with it.

On the other hand, some of them are completely harmless, like crane flies, who hatch in the late summer. Despite their intimidating appearance that makes them look like large mosquitoes, they actually are great for the environment and shouldn’t be killed. 

Speaking of mosquitoes, we’re getting to a point where they’re about to hatch. It means that you’re almost certainly going to get bit. However, with each mosquito season comes the added risk of a dangerous disease. It’s worth going over how it’s transmitted, along with how to prevent it.

West Nile Virus Set to Hit Colorado Yet Again This Summer


Mosquito season starts in late April and early May, and usually lasts all the way up until September. This means during this time, the spread of West Nile virus will be at its highest.

Last year, Colorado had a major problem with West Nile virus, a dangerous disease that can have fatal consequences.

Colorado had the most infections in 2023, with 626. That by far outpaced the entire country. There were also 50 deaths due to complications from the virus.

According to Dr. Thomas Campbell, who spoke to 9News, West Nile virus causes only mild illness in most. In fact, some people show no symptoms. 

In some older folks and people with worse immune systems, it can be extremely severe and deadly.

In worse case scenarios, it can cause severe neurological issues and can lead to death.

Transmitted through mosquitoes, cities like Fort Collins had to spray down entire neighborhoods to prevent mosquitoes from spreading it

Since it wreaked so much havoc last year, scientists are taking extra precautions this year.

How Can I Prevent Contracting West Nile Virus?


To prevent it, the most basic precaution is to stay away from water sources where mosquitoes breed. In particular, they like stagnant water, so places like ponds or other wetlands are a nogo.

Insect repellent is a no-brainer, but make sure to apply any sort of sunscreen first before applying any repellent.

Finally, mosquitoes typically are most active in the morning and evening.

Quiz: Do you know your state insect?

Stacker has used a variety of sources to compile a list of the official state insect(s) of each U.S. state, as well as their unique characteristics. Read on to see if you can guess which insect(s) represent your state. 

Gallery Credit: Andrew Vale

LOOK: 20 of the biggest insects in the world

Stacker compiled a list of 20 of the biggest insects in the world using a variety of news, scientific, and other sources.

Gallery Credit: Andrea Vale

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