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The state of California is asking banks and lenders to drain the pools at foreclosed homes. Standing water attracts mosquitos and that can contribute to the spread of West Nile virus.

Hundreds of vacant homes with standing water have been reported to authorities in Sacramento and Yolo counties as potential mosquito breeding grounds.

The volume of abandoned homes has grown with the drop in real estate prices and the credit pinch on Wall Street, just as West Nile virus is spreading among mosquitoes. Five people have died from the virus this summer, and the state has had 80 cases.

West Nile Virus has hit the counties of Kern, San Joaquin, and Colusa very hard. Two deaths have been attributed to the virus in Kern county.

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