Mosquito population on the rise after heavy rainfall

Courtesy of WWL-TV

NEW ORLEANS — It’s the time of the year to pull out the fly swatters and mosquito repellent.

“All the rains that we’ve had recently have flooded a lot of our known breeding areas throughout the New Orleans metro area,” said Jefferson Parish entomologist Steve Pavlovich.

The abundance of rain makes for the perfect incubators.

“The mosquitoes will lay their eggs on moist soil, then when the periodic rain fall happens, it will flood those areas where the mosquitoes have laid their eggs,” said Pavlovich.

Pavlovich said it’ll take about a week for those eggs turn to adult mosquitoes.

Jefferson Parish Mosquito Control Services says they’ve been trying to stay ahead of the increase, treating 36,000 acres of land.

“We’ve used a couple of bacterial products to treat a lot of these breeding sites, these sites range from woodland pools, to flood water areas, to some ditches,” Pavlovich said.

Using ATVs and trucks, they have sprayed 3.5 million square feet of standing surface water. Pavlovich said you can help them cover more ground by policing your own yard for breeding areas.

“Eliminating anything that could hold water that could possibly be a mosquito breeding site. These go from things such as tires to kids toys to also the pans on the bottoms of potted plants,” Pavlovich said.

Mosquito’s can bring the threat of sickness but Pavlovich says right now their not seeing the disease carrying variety.

“That doesn’t mean people can let their guard down, they should always take precaution when mosquito’s are out and biting,” Pavlovich said.

So charge up the bug zappers and have the spray cans on stand by as mosquito season is in full swing.

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