CHICAGO (CBS) — You may want to blame the economy if your house is swarmed by mosquitoes.

A mosquito specialist says the number of home foreclosures is leading to local increases in the number of mosquitoes flourishing in unkept pool covers, bird baths, buckets and ponds.

University of Illinois medical entomologist Richard Lampman says mosquito abatement districts are finding local mosquito population increases around foreclosed homes which have numerous vessels that catch and retain water.

Professor Lampman says this is especially important as the Culex mosquito moves north into Illinois where it’s already found in three counties: Tazewell, La Salle and Saint Clair. He says the culex mosquito carries West Nile Virus and flourishes in abandoned water pools.

Professor Lampman says if an adjacent home has been abandoned after foreclosure, it might be a good idea to see if it has neglected water storage areas.

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He suggests gently tipping over any water-filled bird baths or buckets or just alerting the local mosquito abatement districts about the problem.

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