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VOL. 40 | NO. 22 | Friday, May 27, 2016

Summertime, and the living is suddenly scary

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This spring has been filled with mysterious weather, hot, cold and, of course, wet with only a few days when it was difficult to drive a “For Sale” sign into the hardened soil.

Soon enough, those deadly winged insects, the mosquitoes, will be flying, and with them opportunities to experience the West Nile virus or worse.

If it were not intimidating enough to have viral attacks from above, the ground below will be rife with ticks ready to inject the dreaded Lyme disease into our systems. There is hope for eliminating or repelling these medical nuisances from lush lawns.

One company that provides treatments for killing these pests is the Mosquito Squad of Nashville. Kathy McKennon, the office manager, provided even more ominous information, stating that the two types of mosquito that spread the Zika virus do, in fact, live in our midst.

According to McKennon, there have been no cases of anyone having been infected by a Tennessee mosquito. However, if the disease is here and the mosquitoes are here, there is always a chance, however slim, that something bad could happen.

Of course, West Nile has been around a while, and there is a new kid on the viral block called Chikungunya, McKennon says, which causes flu-like symptoms and joint pain that can last for years.

Thankfully, there are several companies like the Mosquito Squad that can eliminate or repel the disease laden bugs from the Middle Tennessee lots and yard.

The most efficient tool in the elimination of the dreaded flying petri dishes is used by 95 percent of the Mosquito Squad’s clientele and is sprayed onto the vegetation in the yard. The compound’s main ingredient is chrysanthemums. This compound will kill the insects and is “perfectly safe,” McKennon says.

Some customers prefer a compound made of rosemary and peppermint oil to repel the insects. Ironically, the chrysanthemums are grown in Africa, which also is the home of malaria. The Mosquito Squad is heavily involved in Malaria No More, an organization that is dedicated to ridding Africa of Malaria.

The spraying also rids the area of the ticks. In addition to Lyme disease, ticks and fleas can also contribute to the spread of heartworm. These compounds kill fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and chiggers.

Once the insects are gone, we still have copperheads and most recently rattlesnakes. As for the rattlesnakes, one critter ridder suggested the elimination of vermin, suggesting they are the driving force in rattlers migrating toward humans and their homes. By eliminating mice and chipmunks, the snakes will seek other territories for their food.

If there is a rattlesnake infestation, he suggested taking several pounds of black sunflower seeds to a spot far away from the house and pouring a pile of the seeds to lure the vermin into that area. Then the snakes will eat the mice.

Coyotes and the recent invasion of armadillos present new and different challenges. The roads are becoming littered with armadillo carcasses, and the coyotes are scarcely seen but their presence is evident as small pets have gone missing all around town.

Sale of the Week

Designed by the renowned architect Sharon Pigott and built by the reliable, steady Bob Haley, the house located at 5910 East Ashland Drive sold in three days last week for $985,000 after the venerable Whit Clark listed it for $995,000.

Clark, a partner at prestigious Fridrich and Clark Realty, has been selling houses for almost 40 years. Jamie Granbery, a mere youngster by comparison but a veteran of hundreds of sales over the past 30 years or so, represented the buyer.

Nestled in the shadows of Percy Priest School. The 5,255-square-foot home has five bedrooms, four and one-half baths, an office and an exercise room.

Although it was built in 1985, the home features a large kitchen and a master suite on the first level, perfect for the boomers with failing knees and hips.

Richard Courtney is a real estate broker with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney, and Associates and can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com.

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