Who is protecting the parks from West Nile? - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Darrell Phillips

Who is protecting the parks from West Nile?

Leo Morales just moved his family from Texas to Memphis and has been watching the reports of the spread of West Nile with interest.

Leo Morales, Parent:  "We put a little lotion on her and stuff... kind of to help prevent the mosquito bites... but that's pretty much it... there's not much else i can do at this time."

His daughter is two, two years old... and "too" young to know better.

At their home, they've followed advice of the health department, draining standing water, wearing mosquito repellant, watching for warning signs, dead birds and so on. But in public places - like audobon park - he worries that the risk may be out of his hands. 

"If there was water... we pretty much try to stay away from it."

At this playground, at Overton Park, the bugs abound, while the heat may be keeping kids away. Still - these places pose particular challenges. A large "still" pond skirts the playground.

Butch Pollan brought his kids to the zoo here, also at Overton Park. He doesn't worry much about the West Nile Virus, but keeps a close eye on where his kids wander.

"If I was keeping an eye on em... I wouldn't just go over there and spend the day."

And that's a good thing, because the health department says at dusk - and at dawn - the mosquitos are the worst in places like these. Alongside the Parks Commission, they spray the parks on their regular routes, also responding to calls from park-goers.  The pond is supposed to be coated with a special larvaecide that keeps the bugs from hatching.

If you find a bird in a park, the health department suggests you stay away from it. If you plan to throw it away, use gloves and a shovel.

They also say if your children are going to go to a public park, you should have them wear heavy mosquito repellant and wear light colored clothing - white or beige - with long sleeves, to limit the number of potential bugbites.

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