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Warren Cracks Down On Those Who Harbor Mosquitoes

WARREN (WWJ) - The city of Warren is cracking down on those who harbor mosquitoes after the suspected death this week of a Macomb County man from the West Nile Virus.

Mayor Jim Fouts said those who have stagnant pools or ponds and other areas that harbor mosquitoes could face a $1,000 fine.

The mayor said Michigan was one of the top two states in both fatalities and serious illnesses caused by West Nile almost 10 years ago.  Under the new plan, Fouts said said inspectors will look for pools of water in places like dumpsters, wheelbarrows, tires, pipes, drains and flower pots.

Homeowners will be given a warning and a chance to fix the problem.

"Every effort will be put forth to protect Warren residents against the dangers posed by mosquito infestation. This year is of particular concern because of the very heavy rain that this area has encountered in the last several months," said Fouts, in a statement released Friday.

"It's likely that if we cannot control mosquito breeding in early summer we will have to undergo heavy mosquito biting in late summer and early fall," he said.

Fouts' Mosquito Eradication, Education and Prevention program includes:

1) Property Maintenance inspectors will be trained by the engineering  department for the proper use of the briquettes.

2) Property Maintenance inspectors will be directed to identify pools  or ponds of water which would be ideal breeding grounds for mosquito's. They will also identify other potential breeding areas for mosquitos such as dumpsters, wheelbarrows, tires, hubcaps, garden equipment, pool covers, pipes, drains, recycling bins, flower pots, buckets and clogged rain gutters.

3) Citizens will be encouraged to check the above items and make sure they are emptied of standing stagnant water.

4) If inspectors identify stagnant pools and other major sources of  mosquito breeding homeowners will be notified that they must eliminate the problem or if not they may face fines up to $1000.

5) The Warren DPW will distribute the briquettes to the 18,000 catch  basins.

6) The Recreation Department will direct and train their employees to  identify and then treat places of standing water in the parks with "mosquito dunks" which are similarly shaped like hockey pucks. They dissolve in water and kill the larvae.

7) The Communication Dept will offer prevention and treatment tips to  residents via their Newsbeat seasonal flyer which will be mailed out in July.

8) The city will also mail out mosquito information in its monthly water bill.

9) City will contact county officials to get their help in treating catch basins  on county roads Van Dyke, Mound, and Schoenherr.

Fouts is encouraging officials in other Metro Detroit cities to adopt a smiliar plan.

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