West Nile Virus and rain gutters have many things in common. Rain gutters that do not properly drain make for a perfect breeding ground for mosquitos. Standing water in gutters can potentially be a breeding ground for millions of lavae.
Moreover, a homeowner can reduce the number of mosquitoes around their home by reducing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding. Any item that can catch and hold water and is allowed to sit is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitos. Therefore, we cannot overstate how important it is to clean rain gutters twice a year. Additonally, this is particularly true if the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug up the downspouts. Millions of mosquitoes can breed in rain gutters each season. We have seen time and time again, stopped up gutters with standing water and mosquito larvae.
The Indianapolis area which includes the sourounding counties of Marion, Boone, Brown, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Madison, Morgan, Putnam, and Shelby has seen a marked increase in West Nile Virus. Many homeowners in these communities have reported mosquito populations growing like never before. The municipalities do not agree. However when homeowners report not being able to go outside for fear of being “eaten alive”, during certain times of the day, we consider that a problem.
And while you are at it, dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic flower pots or similar water holding containers. You have heard it before, pay attention to discarded tires. Why not just take them to be recycled? For instance, the Hamiliton County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Center will accept old tires. Mosquitoes can be found breeding in old tires. Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use and don’t let water stagnate in birdbaths. Turn over wheelbarrows .
The department of health has said to use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property. Mosquitoes will develop in any puddle that lasts for more than four days. Indeed, it would be wise to clean your gutters and encourage your neighbors to do the same. However if you cannot clean your gutters yourself, call a service company that can. Be smart and stay healthy.