Chico, California Foreclosures and West Nile Virus

Rumor has it that the United States’ foreclosure epidemic could be contributing to the spread of the West Nile Virus.

Reports are showing that the number of people in California testing positive for the West Nile virus has increased three-fold compared to last year. Many experts are blaming the increasing problem on the pools located in the yards of foreclosure properties.

The electrical service is typically suspended on properties in the months between the time the former owners have stopped paying the bills and the time a Realtor or management company begins to look after the maintenance of the home. The pumps on the pools cease to operate, creating a giant, stagnant pool of water in which mosquitoes often breed. Mosquitoes are known to transmit the virus to humans after being infected from a bird.West Nile often takes a harder toll on the elderly, people with suppressed immune systems, and children. The West Nile virus is to blame for as many as 5 deaths have in California alone this year. A state of emergency was declared by California Governor Schwarzenegger for Colusa, Kern and San Joaquin counties.

Two of my three Chico, CA foreclosure properties that I’ve had listed in the past month had pools. Both of these pools were NASTY! I specifically cautioned my daughter on a recent trip to one of the properties. She’s only 9, but took heed and stayed in the front yard. This particular pool had 2 dead birds in it, as well as an unbelievable little ecosystem full of assorted little critters… some not so little!

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People can reduce their risk of West Nile infection by following some common sense procedures.

1. Avoid time outdoors, especially when mosquitoes are most active. This typically is at dusk and dawn. 2. If you must be outside, wear appropriate clothing: long pants, long sleeves, shoes and socks. 3. Make sure that you apply mosquito repellent. It should contain DEET, eucalyptus oil, or Picaridin. 4. Make sure your screens and doors are adequately sealed. Replace any screens that have holes or tears. 5. Do not allow water to sit anywhere on your property. Empty birdbaths, buckets of water, keep the pool filter running, monitor your sprinkler operation, and change the dog’s bowl frequently!

Remember, your best protection is prevention. Use good common sense to avoid bites and illness.


For more information about West Nile Virus:

Informational Brochure (PDF):

Fight the Bite

Preventing West Nile Virus

Also, report any dead bird that may have died less than 48 hours prior to

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Looking to buy or sell Chico CA Real Estate? Need a Top Producing Chico CA Realtor? Call Sandi Bauman 530-864-5407 or email [email protected]. Specializing in REO, residential, relocation, investment & ag property.

Sandi Bauman (Chico Homes): Real Estate Agent in Chico, Butte County, California
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