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Letter To The Editor: Keeping A Tidy Yard Is More Than Just Appearances Sake

on September 27, 2017 - 10:50am

By DELIA CRUZ-MURPHY
Los Alamos

I understand people are upset by the County Codes calling for people to maintain the weeds in their yard, or minimize the rotting carcasses of cars, and just the general tidiness of one’s yard.

While I do understand I cannot sympathize, nor excuse this risky behavior. Keeping a tidy yard is more than just appearances sake, it is about the real pressing issue of Public Health for the Community.  We live in a part of the country where Bubonic Plague, Hantavirus and Mosquito Borne Illnesses are a continuous concern. The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) on June 26, 2017 reported three confirmed human cases of plague in Santa Fe County (https://nmhealth.org/news/disease/2017/6/?view=574).  Sept. 11, 2017, the NMDOH reported the mosquito’s species in Luna County as capable of transmitting Zika Virus (https://nmhealth.org/news/disease/2017/9/?view=622), and Aug. 17, 2017, NMDOH reported the death of a gentleman in San Juan County from West Nile Virus (https://nmhealth.org/news/disease/2017/8/?view=619).

As the temperature drops and we prepare for winter, the animal kingdom is also preparing. This means that they (rodents) will be moving indoors. Is it fair if my neighbor has six car carcasses, weeds that are three feet high, and a generally disheveled yard, which rodents use for their summer home?

Rodents do not observe property lines like humans do. Rodents merely find a warm safe place, which is anybody’s house in close proximity, not just the unkempt house.

It might be prudent to read up on Bubonic Plague, Hantavirus and Mosquito Borne Illness before you attempt to justify why it is permissible to have a slovenly yard in an urban area. It also might be prudent to take stock of who is living in your neighborhood, after all it will affect more than your property.

Bubonic Plague:
https://nmhealth.org/publication/view/marketing/1007/
https://www.cdc.gov/plague/index.html

Hantavirus:
https://nmhealth.org/publication/view/marketing/886/
https://www.cdc.gov/hantavirus/index.html

Mosquito Borne Illness:
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/outdoor/mosquito-borne/default.html
https://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dvbd/index.html


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