And You Though You Had a Bad Mosquito Situation

by Prince Of Petworth April 11, 2013 at 1:30 pm 30 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user quemac

I don’t mean to make light of this – the mosquito situation in DC is seriously awful. From the Brookland listserv:

I have a neighbor with no running water so all his drinking and bathing is done with water captured in lots of trash cans in his back yard. The city seems to have given up on him, so no amount of calls do anything. His yard also harbors a lifetime supply of rats which are already bad this year.

I’m pretty sure I got bit by my first mosquito of the season last night. I thought we would’ve had at least until late May. Time to break out the deet…

  • According to recently published research by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, mosquitoes are first deterred by DEET but become inured to it after first exposure.

  • Anonymous

    Put some mosquito dunks in his trash cans.

    • Anonymous

      “all his drinking and bathing is done with water captured in lots of trash cans ”

      Not a good idea.

      • saf

        Mosquito dunks are non-toxic.

        • Agreed: dunks are safe for humans and pets.

          • Anonymous

            Hmmm, I bet if I crunched one up and put it in a glass of water you would not drink it. Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

    • Put vinegar and garlic extract in there. That should do the trick, and it’s not toxic…

  • Anonymous

    What is a lifetime supply of rats, exactly? Even one rat is more than I’d want in my lifetime.

  • Alan

    You have a neighbor with no running water?! When did we roll back to the 19th century? Can’t the city do something about that?

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, that’s crazy. I’d be more concerned about the health of the neighbor than possible mosquito. Do you know why he’s doing this? Can he not pay his water bills, is he afraid to drink from the city water supply, is there some repair that needs to be done to his plumbing?

    • firsttimepostingtodaystopwiththewarnings

      do something about what? that he’s not trying to pay DC water? that he’s trying to live his life without unsolicited advice? let him be.

  • Anonymous

    Is the neighbor elderly? You might try Adult protective services. By “the city” do you mean DCRA? Rat Abatement?

    • Anonymous

      Yikes. Yeah, this sounds pretty extreme–like the neighbor either has a serious issue with income (arrears on water bill or lack of funds for a plumber to fix the problem), the landlord (if a renter), or mental health. (Or if it’s an elderly person, there could be a cognitive problems.) I’d hope there’d be someone, either the city or a mental health outreach group, who could try to assist (although sometimes with mental illness issues, that’s easier said than done).

      • npe

        what’s so wrong with rainwater? one isn’t necessarily mentally ill for living off the land. everyone is loving these rainbarrels, what’s the difference? don’t judge the man.

        • Anonymous

          Rain barrels are closed containers- not open trash bins with water in them that become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. There is a big difference.

      • Anonymous

        There was a similar situation at the house on the corner of 20th and Monroe a few years back, I think 2006. An elderly woman, who had lived in the house since the 1940s, and her son had no electric or running water. Eventually, the “city” (I believe Adult Protective Services) got her out of the house and into some sort of facility, and it was eventually redeveloped. I believe that per DCRA regs, a house without running water is considered uninhabitable, and owners have to address the situation or be evicted (at least in theory). Anyhow, please do call DCRA about this…I’ve dealt with them a few times on similar issues and found them to be helpful (if slow in responding)

        • Anonymous

          Actually, DCRA only functions well when responding to neighbor complaints. They LOVE neighbor complaints! They do absolutely nothing pro-actively. They love nothing better than to be handed a neat little complaint like this. Believe me, I’m in the middle of a Kafkaesque maelstrom (points for that?) due to crazy vindictive neighbor’s false complaints.

          • +1 for Kafkaesque. +3 for maelstrom.

  • This post is disgusting. Stale water, mosquitos, rats…

  • Tall E

    Have you called the Dept of Public Health? Great breeding space for west nile virus and that actually is a concern for them. All angles are probably useful in this sad case.

  • Watch out – first they came for the garbage cans full of water, then they came for the rain barrels…..

  • do you live on my street? my neighbors have not had running water for months at a time for years! the city – several agencies and officials – have been involved a few times. the water issue never gets resolved. just the pcp dealing is sometimes addressed.

    • wow remind me to never live on your street. that sounds rough.

  • houseintherear

    Just say no to Deet. It’s terrible for your health (and the environment).

    Try this: (combine in 16 oz spray bottle)

    15 drops lavendar oil
    3-4 tbsp vanilla extract
    1/2 cup lemon juice
    fill the rest of the bottle with water, shake

    Or you can cover yourself in apple cidar vinegar, but it won’t make you smell good. I bath the dog in it from May-Sept and it works wonderfully.

  • Good gosh. I guess fun things like dysentry aren’t a cause for concern anymore?

  • Danii

    Purchase some mantid nests and put them out in your yard. Trust me, it WILL make a difference!

  • Anonymous

    It’s pretty sad that a citizen of the capital of one of the richest nations on earth is permitted to live in such conditions and has been “given up on.”

  • Does your neighbor live at 1700 block of Kearny? I know what house that is – and calling it a house is being lose with the definition of house.

  • Ugly Betty

    Well, if he has no running water, then drinking and bathing aren’t the only things he is doing with captured water — how does he flush a toilet, or my guess is the outside is his toilet. That is not allowed — the city moved in years ago with an old man at 10th and V Street NW. Keep pursuing this — hound your councilmember (especially if they are running for Mayor this year). Notify looselips and tv stations.

  • Anonymous

    No running water? What country is this?


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