Mosquitoes play Dirty Pool

Most pools in Reno and Sparks are well taken care of. But, according to the health department the foreclosure crisis in our area has meant people are abandoning their pools-- increasing the risk of west nile virus.

This is what one of those abandoned pools look like. Green and black water with bugs taking in a daily swim. They were more common and more of a threat in the battle against west nile virus in sunbelt communities like Las Vegas and Phoenix. But with foreclosure, homeowners are packing up, moving out and leaving pool maintenance behind here in Northern Nevada.

Scott Monson from /Washoe County Vector Control says he finds out about these pools in two different ways.

"One is we just fly over head in a helicopter. We look down and see a green pool, that stands out. Another way is neighbrs are concerned they give us a call".

Monson says the water is tested for mosquitoes and the water is treated.. In the past he says he's received a few calls about an abandoned pool, but this year those calls have increased three fold. While none of the pools so far has tested positive to west nile virus, its always a possibility especially with heat, stagnant water, and mosquitoes.

The swimming pools are more of a problem Monson says because unlike a rural stagnant pond, swimming pools are usually in a populated area, and the mosquito doesn't need to fly far for a meal.

If you'd like to report an abandoned pool you are urged to contact the Washoe County Health Department, go to our webchannel at for more information.