Monday, May 14, 2007

Dead Pool

Hundreds of them may really be alive with mosquitoes, brings new meaning to the housing slowdown.

New front in war in mosquitoes
Real estate agents urged to report untended pools, ponds.
By Jim Wasserman - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Monday, May 14, 2007

Thousands of unsold and empty houses in the Sacramento region are fast becoming breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

As the region's housing slump creates more vacant houses and a growing excess of homes in transition between buyers and sellers, Culex mosquitoes that can spread the West Nile virus to birds, other animals and humans are thriving in uncared-for swimming pools, garden ponds and yards flooded by broken sprinklers, said David Brown, manager of the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District.

"A 5-gallon bucket can literally produce a thousand mosquitoes a week," Brown said. "Multiply that by the surface of a pool and you see how many mosquitoes can affect an entire neighborhood. These mosquitoes can fly one to five miles."

Sacramento Association of Realtors spokesman Greg Vlasek said there are 9,672 houses for sale in the mosquito district's Sacramento and Yolo counties coverage area alone.

Nearly 1,400 have swimming pools.