26 September 2008

Dodging the Blood Suckers

In the New York Times today is an article saying this is the mildest season for West Nile virus in seven years -- which is a good thing because it is the worst season for mosquitoes at our house near downtown Phoenix.

We normally do not have many mosquitoes here, not like some places. Certainly one of the advantages of living in a dry climate. Usually, in summer, we might see one, maybe two mosquitoes in the house. No biggie. THIS year, we have had more than a dozen (at different times) but consecutively since mid August.

Around these parts, the prevailing theory for this increased number of skeeters is that we have had a very wet summer. Since June we have gotten at least seven inches of rain at our house alone (we normally get seven inches in an entire year).

While it is true wetter years see more mosquitoes, I think the real culprits are swimming pools abandoned at foreclosed homes. The metro Phoenix area has one of the highest rates of foreclosed houses, and I think those artificial lakes are the spawning grounds for this year's outsized crop of flying blood suckers.

Who's right? Who knows. I just know I will be glad when the night-time temperatures start going down to about 50 degrees. That's cold enough to kill them (I hope). Luckily, no one here has exhibited any of the signs of West Nile virus, so, whew!

You may read the article here.

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