A group of Rutherford County neighbors are buzzing over something happening in their backyard. They say a drainage ditch has turned into the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, and it wasn't clear who is responsible for clearing them out.
Before Stephanie Blanton lets her young sons go out back to play, she sprays them with bug repellent.
"My 6-year-old has extremely sensitive skin, and to put chemicals on him just to play in the backyard is frustrating," Blanton said.
She said a drainage ditch in the backyard of her Summer Hill Lane home in La Vergne is a breeding ground for huge mosquitoes.
"We were out Sunday during the day, and the boys looked like they had chicken pox because they had so many mosquito bites," Blanton said.
She and her husband called the city, looking for help, only to find out there is not a city mosquito spraying program.
"They suggested we go and buy a bottle of bug spray and spray our yard," Blanton said.
The mother of three says, with as many mosquitoes biting her kids, she's now worried about West Nile virus, especially since some recently tested positive for the disease in neighboring Nashville.
"I want to protect my kids. I want them to be able to play outside without worrying they are going to get some disease," Blanton said.
The family contacted Channel 4 News for help, and while we were at the home, the city's codes director arrived to spread larvae-killing chemicals in the standing water, which should kill and help control the pesky pests.
"The best course to get rid of the mosquitoes is to get rid of the water. That's our primary goal is to get rid of the water," said La Vergne Codes Director Randolph Salyers.
City officials say it remains the property owner's responsibility to keep drainage ditches on their easement free from trash and debris. They say overgrowth is often what allows the water to just stand.
But they said workers will soon come and clear the drainage ditch in this neighborhood to help alleviate the standing water.
Blanton is now breathing a sigh of relief, knowing - at least for now - her kids can play without the fear of being eaten alive.
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