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Tires holding rain water raise zika concerns

Posted at 6:49 PM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 18:49:05-04

With the rainy summer season around the corner local and state officials are keeping an eye on tire businesses to reduce the possibility of mosquito breeding zones. 

Recent rainfall has left small puddles in many of the over 200,000 tires at West Coast Tire Recycling in Lehigh Acres. The owner, who did not want to be identified, told Fox 4 reporter Deborah Souverain she is currently on a 30 day deadline to improve conditions at her facility. 
 
"Overall you can tell that there's more mosquitos since the rain started." 
 
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) entered into a consent agreement with West Coast Recycling.
 
The agreement requires the facility to remove at least 20,000 tires per month from the property until they are in compliance.
 
The owner told Fox 4 she is working in conjunction with FDEP, Lee County Mosquito Control and the Florida Health Department to cut the waste tire stockpile down to 5,000 from 200,000. 
 
"They're very concerned about the safety of everyone and so are we, its been a couple of different things to why we got into the situation that we have so many tires" she said.
 
She told Fox 4, part of blame is due to a faulty tire shredder. While her stockpile may be larger than others, she is not the only tire business officials are in contact with. Robert's Tire and Auto Service in Lehigh Acres has been visited by Lee County Mosquito Control.
 
"The mosquito people they came by and checked us recently,"said Ricky Hudgins, Co-owner Robert's Tires and Auto Repair.
 
Florida currently has 123 confirmed zika cases, 5 of which are in lee county. Ricky, who uses a granular mosquito repellant to kill the larvae, says while zika remains a threat he will not take any short cuts. 
 
"We don't want no mosquitoes out here on our properties," said Hudgins.