Local mosquito control officials say since the foreclosure crisis hit, abandoned swimming pools have been their prime target.
“Over the past couple of years we’ve visited over 9,000 pools in Sacramento and Yolo County to see if they’re breeding mosquitoes.”
That’s Gary Goodman with the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District.
“We are always concerned about swimming pools because they literally can breed thousands and thousands of mosquitoes that can infect an entire neighborhood.”
Mosquitoes are capable of spreading the West Nile virus, which in rare cases can cause neurological damage or death in humans as well as horses, birds and other animals.
Vector control technicians are applying insecticide or planting mosquito-eating fish in as many abandoned pools as possible. But Goodman says they could use a little help.
“We can’t see in people’s backyards so we want to solicit the public to help us identify exactly where they are.”
And Goodman says people should be emptying any standing water in their own backyards that’s collected from the recent rains. Now that temperatures are warming up, dormant adult mosquitoes will be coming out of hiding to breed and feed. The warmer weather also allows mosquito eggs to hatch in standing water and larvae to develop.
Goodman says it’s hard to say what kind of year it’ll be for mosquitoes. But he does say the Vector Control District, which is funded through property taxes, will be doing more with less. Their budget was cut by 10% this year.