Foreclosed homes don't just depress prices in their surrounding neighborhoods -- they are a public health threat, according to officials in Contra Costa County east of San Francisco. Homes in foreclosure are a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes that carry the deadly West Nile virus because the bugs inhabit swimming pools or other standing water on neglected properties. Either homeowners are too busy dealing with their financial situation to maintain their properties, or in some cases the properties are abandoned, and "the swimming pool or spa is left to the mosquitoes where hundreds of thousands of them can be produced," the county's Mosquito & Vector Control District warns. According to the district, nearly 10,000 homes in Contra Costa County are in some part of ...
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