Sprinkler Systems and the West Nile Virus
This summer has had one of the worst droughts on record, yet here in Dallas, we’re dealing with a mosquito-borne epidemic called West Nile Virus. Now mosquitoes thrive in wet areas, laying their eggs in shallow, stagnant water. Why then, do we have a mosquito plague during a drought? I blame it on sprinkler systems.
All around my apartment complex, there are silt deposits on the sidewalks; muddy, wet deposits of good, fertile topsoil. It gets so bad sometimes that I have to leave my muddy shoes at my door. I shouldn’t have muddy shoes during a drought. I also shouldn’t see puddles along the sides of the flower beds, but I do. When I hear about Dallas County spraying the whole metropolis with aerial pesticides, I look at these sprinkler created puddles and try to fathom all of the mosquito eggs contained within.
Sprinklers aren’t entirely to blame, of course. An unusually mild winter didn’t help. We didn’t get any big freezes here in North Texas, so there were less bugs killed off during the winter. In fact, I’ve noticed a lot more bugs in general this summer; ants and crickets are particularly bad this year. This may be an effect of Global Warming, but that’s a topic for another article. Things like bad weather and global climate change are long-term problems that need long-term solutions. But when it comes to mosquito-borne illness, there’s a much quicker solution.
A Quick Fix
We can’t fix Global Warming overnight, especially when so many people still deny its existence, even in the face of hard scientific proof. But running our sprinklers less is a quick and easy fix. Yellow grass is a small price to pay for avoiding West Nile Virus.