Mosquitoes can kill you. Simple as that. Granted, they're not likely to kill you, but that would be of little comfort if you happen to be that rare case that gets a fatal dose of West Nile Virus.
That's one reason a Concerned But Anonymous Reader contacted me recently. A house on Auburn Avenue near her place has a swimming pool that's a nasty green mosquito breeding ground.
"My husband contacted city services and a representative came to our house and told him that the issue had been addressed with the residents and they had been given 10 days to correct the situation," she wrote. "That was a month or so ago. Nothing has changed about the pool."
So it's not surprising that nothing's changed in her yard, either.
"Our concern is that we continue to be eaten alive by mosquitoes when we are in our yard even for a brief time. Working in the yard has become almost impossible because of these stinging pests."
She said she is also concerned for another neighbor who has small children playing in the yard a lot.
And like I said, it's not just that the nasty little blood suckers are a nuisance. So far, 48 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Of the 3,142 people who have contracted West Nile virus, 134 have died.
The CDC strongly urges people to eliminate standing water on their property because that is basically a mosquito farm.
I called Special Enforcement Officer Keith Lynn, who first responded to the complaint and told the tenants to get the pool cleaned up.
He said he was intending to do a follow up visit but his department has been slammed with vacant properties to tend to. As someone who gets calls about such things on an almost daily basis, I can attest to that.
Lynn said he will go over to the house early this week, and if nothing's been done about the pool, he will issue the tenants a summons to Environmental Court.
I hope that works, because it really is creating a potentially dangerous nuisance for the neighbors.
In fact, while I was taking the accompanying photo, I got bit, which means I'll probably have to fill out a worker's comp form.
I trust most of you will recall when we wrote about the travails of Michael Bragg, whose Affirm Lane property abuts a Plantation Oil Co. pipeline right of way.
We learned that the company has a contract with the city that requires them to cut the grass only once every two years. That's a deal I'd love to get with my wife, except then the neighbors would call me to report me to me and that could get awkward, if it hasn't already.
Anyway, Bragg e-mailed me to say he called Clerk of Council Tiny Washington to confirm the two-year deal and she told him there was no such contract with the city.
So Bragg wrote to Eric Link at Kinder Morgan (Plantation's parent company). I don't think he's heard back from them yet, but he isn't a quitter.
"I plan on writing letters until someone squeals," he wrote.
I hear banjo music.
Seen something that needs attention? Contact me at 706-571-8570 or firstname.lastname@example.org