One of the many unexpected threats to emerge from the housing crisis comes from West Nile virus. Public-health officials have grown increasingly concerned that stagnant swimming pools at foreclosed properties could serve as breeding accelerators for the mosquitoes that transmit the sickness.
Now, to fight this unexpected problem, officials are turning to an equally improbably antidote: "mosquito-gobbling minnows."
Public health workers in Maricopa County, which includes the cities of the Phoenix valley, are breeding thousands of so-called mosquitofish to gobble up larvae that thrive in the green pools of abandoned homes across the county.
The tiny, silvery fish are being offered to residents and municipal authorities across the parched desert county, which has tens of thousands of swimming pools, and one of the highest foreclosure rates in the United States.
Hope those little guys are hungry.