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West Nile Worries Residents in Neighborhood with Foreclosed Home, Abandoned Pool

6:21 PM, Sep 16, 2011   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Noel Peters has a well-maintained pool in her backyard.

The problem, she said, is the abandoned pool in her neighbor's backyard. "It has been abandoned for about three years," said Peters.

County records show the bank took possession of the property in August 2010. But around the house in the 7000 block of San Jose Boulevard, there are overgrown shrubs and a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Peters is worried about West Nile. "Labor Day it got so bad we kind of had to scoot everybody into the house," she said.

She called City of Jacksonville Mosquito Control Division and workers came out and sprayed the neighborhood several times. "They shared with me it is one of the worst pools in Jacksonville they've seen," said Peters.


She wants the bank to clean up the pool once and for all. "I didn't know who to call, who to notify."

On Your Side called the city's Code Enforcement Division and officers issued citations for the overgrown brush and debris. The lender is being notified.

Gary Clark, a mosquito expert with the USDA, said while communities have every reason to be concerned about abandoned properties and the mosquito risk, there's only so much municipalities can do.

"It is very difficult, as you might imagine, for programs to get into everybody's backyard and take care of everybody's container," said Clark.

Clark, a research leader with the USDA mosquito and fly research unit, said sometimes neighbors may have to do the clean up and reduce the risk.

But in this case because the pool in Peters' neighborhood is behind a locked gate, no one will access the property.

Altisoure Preservation represents Ocwen Loan servicing. A customer service representative said the property is in foreclosure and that he would forward the information to Ocwen. He said the property, including the pool, would be cleaned up in three to five days.







"In the meantime I worry about heartworms for my dogs and my child getting bit and getting sick, " said Peters.


If you know of a property in your neighborhood in similar condition, contact the municipal code enforcement division and contact the company hired to maintained the foreclosure.

Contact mosquito control, but remember it will not access property behind a locked gate.








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