If you've been spending some time outdoors you know the mosquitoes are out and in full force. What many don't know is West Nile is a here to stay.

Make no mistake, the West Nile Virus is here to stay in Colorado. It's not a matter of it will show this year, because it will. In 2013, only California topped our state with more reported cases, 368 to be exact, but Colorado's 318 is no laughing matter, especially when 7 of those cases were fatal.

National statistics report that over a million people have been affected and you might be one of them as many show no signs at all and the fatality rate is about 1%. Signs of West Nile Virus are flu symptom like with vomiting, diarreah, high fever, sweats etc. I would say it's a safe bet to head to the doctor if you are having flu like symptoms in the Summer as there is no cure for the West Nile Virus.

How can you protect yourself? The most important thing is to clean up outside around your home and make sure there is no standing water. Flower pots, drains, gutters, low spots in the concrete or asphalt are Disney Land breeding grounds for these pests. Cover your garbage cans, keep the grass mowed and trimmed short, and stock your ornamental ponds with fish...the love the larvae. There are a thousand other places but they key is standing water...get rid of it, daily!

Here's a fun fact: One nasty little blood sucking mosquito can lay 10,000 eggs in the space of peanut butter lid.

Skin protection should be used sparingly but when applied, it's recommended a product that contains at least 35% DEET. Of course there are many natural repellents or maybe just folklore but they say eating lots of garlic will do the trick but be careful of many natural oils because some will burn a hole in your skin if you use the amount needed to actually work. Avoiding scented lotions, soap and shampoo helps greatly as well.

The best ways are to just stay covered up as much as possible and burn plain candles or citronella and you can't beat a good campfire or backyard fire pit to keep them at bay.

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