Huge tire pile in Baton Rouge creates mosquito problem

Huge tire pile in Baton Rouge creates mosquito problem

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A tire problem has turned into a mosquito problem as one Baton Rouge woman said her home is being swarmed.

"They're horrible. I mean I have mosquito bites everywhere," said Carla Jackson, whose arm was covered with mosquito bites.

Jackson said her home on North Street in Baton Rouge has been swarming with the insects because of a large tire pile at a property next door.

"It's so many tires, and water has went in and settled in all these tires, and it's just a breeding ground now," Jackson said.

Jackson is even more worried because of the global concern about Zika virus.

East Baton Rouge Parish Mosquito Control was at the property two weeks ago to spray it. They found adult Asian Tiger Mosquitoes, who can carry Zika.

Assistant Director Randy Vaeth said if someone traveled to a Zika area, came back to Louisiana, and was bitten by an infected mosquito, that could transmit the disease.

"We've always been prepared to try and control it, but of course we're doubly concerned now that it's a potential Zika vector," Vaeth said about infected mosquitoes.

The property used to be a tire shop, but closed within the past few years. It is now being advertised as a body and spray shop.

The manager of that business, Danny Matthews, said that he is leasing the property from Vernell Lockett, who used to run the tire shop. Matthews said he had an agreement with Lockett to move the tires.

"That's his shop, and that was done before me, so I feel like that's not my problem. That's his problem," Matthews said.

Matthews is now considering closing the shop and terminating the lease. 9News called Mr. Lockett and left messages, but received no response.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality said they have gotten numerous complaints about the site, and they are now investigating the problems.

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