Mosquito Population Explodes After Hurricane Laura
Yesterday afternoon my wife and I were walking in our Lafayette neighborhood and both of us were swatting at mosquitoes as much as we were taking steps. Now, it's not unusual to have mosquitoes in our neighborhood but they don't usually launch the kind of massive attack we were seeing yesterday during the heat of the day. That nuisance is one more malady that we can probably pin on Hurricane Laura.
Mosquito populations do tend to increase after a hurricane passes. For that matter, you can see a large increase in mosquito populations after heavy rain. In this particular case, we had both. Granted, our neighborhood had some high water it did not last long. But I am thinking it lasted long enough for mosquitoes to breed and lay eggs in some of the puddles or other containers that hold standing water.
We especially noticed an increase in the blood-sucking assault as we were walking past piles of limbs and debris that our neighbors had placed near the street for pick up. Mosquitoes love hanging out in debris piles, it gives them shelter and shade from the midday sun. And, if they were this bad at Noon, I can only imagine how bad they've been or will be during peak mosquito times of dusk and dawn.
The Centers for Disease Control says mosquito populations that increase immediately after a heavy rain event such as a hurricane are usually not the disease-carrying mosquitoes that spread West Nile, Zika, or other viruses. Instead, they are classified as nuisance mosquitoes. Their purpose in life is to flight, bite, breed, and die. We sure helped them do that last one. I killed 9 mosquitoes on my legs in under a minute yesterday.
Louisiana Department of Health officials suggests you "Fight the Bite" by using insect repellents and creams. Make sure you check the ingredients before you apply. Also, they suggest you don't spend time outdoors during dusk and dawn, the prime feeding time for the biting bugs.
And on the off chance that you do get a bite or twenty. We've got some really great ideas on how to soothe the itch and sting.