Tuesday, June 02, 2009

In Wake of Foreclosures, Mosquitoes Pose Serious Issues

TT Note: I have to admit it. I hadn't realized this potential consequence of foreclosure. With all the rain the south has seen recently, there is already a bumper crop of mosquitoes. Be sure to help us all by letting your health officials know where large bodies of water are standing in your neighborhood.

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Although national consumer confidence has risen in recent months, the recession is still significantly affecting homeowners. RealtyTrac reported in April 2009 that national home foreclosures were up 32 percent over just one year ago. More, according to CNN, Nevada, Florida, California and Arizona continue to lead the nation in foreclosures, accounting for more than 50 percent of foreclosed homes in April alone.

While these foreclosure figures underscore the current economic conditions, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds homeowners to remain vigilant of an ancillary issue stemming from continued increases in vacated homes – potential mosquito infestations in the summer months, especially in and around those foreclosed properties with backyard pools.

The abandonment of pools due to foreclosure is important as mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. When pools are not maintained and/or properly treated, the potential for a significant mosquito infestation rapidly rises. Considering that the standing water that collects naturally in empty flower pots or bird baths provides a terrific opportunity for mosquito breeding, an abandoned swimming pool offers an even greater chance for a major pest infestation that can affect the homes adjacent to the foreclosed property.

“Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance pest but also, a major health threat,” said Greg Baumann, senior scientist for the NPMA. “While associated with causing itchy welts, these pests can also transmit West Nile virus (WNV). In fact, the Center for Disease Control reported that WNV resulted in more than 1,300 human cases and 44 fatalities across the U.S. in 2008. Awareness of conducive conditions for mosquito breeding, especially in and around foreclosed homes, is the key to preventing potential mosquito infestations and limiting WNV in 2009.”

If concerned regarding a foreclosed property with a backyard pool, homeowners should contact their local health department. If concerned by mosquitoes on their own property, homeowners can visit Pestworld.org for prevention tips or to find a local pest professional who can identify and treat the problem.

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