Watch For Mosquitoes; Storm Aftermath Could Lead To Population Explosion

Mary L. Grodner  |  9/8/2005 1:26:45 AM

News Release Distributed 09/07/05

With hundreds of square miles of standing water in flooded areas, mosquitoes are expected to be rampant in Southeast Louisiana in the days ahead.

"The Southern house mosquito likes foul water – the worse the better," said Dr. Mary Grodner of the LSU AgCenter’s Department of Entomology.

"There will be mosquito problems in flooded areas," she said. "So people should avoid going out between dawn and dusk. If they can’t avoid it, they should wear long sleeves and long pants and use an insect repellent with DEET."

Grodner said that while the mosquitoes that carry diseases generally don’t like brackish water, it’s uncertain how much the saltiness of the floodwaters from Lake Pontchartrain or the Gulf has been diluted by water from other sources.

A pesticide safety and education coordinator who works with mosquito control districts across Louisiana, Grodner said she expects local mosquito control districts will be applying granular larvacides by air into the floodwaters to control mosquito eggs that have been laid there.

Nevertheless, the biting bugs will be emerging with the potential of carrying diseases.

Grodner also cautions folks away from actual floodwaters still need to take precautions, too. She and other LSU AgCenter experts offer the following tips for controlling mosquitoes around your home and protecting yourself from mosquito bites:

  • Use a mosquito repellent each time you go outside.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, when possible, and avoid dark colors.
  • Avoid outdoor activities from dusk to dawn – when mosquitoes are more active.
  • Fight mosquitoes. Don’t allow water to stand – or treat standing water with approved insecticides to kill mosquito larvae.
  • Repair window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
  • Use an insecticide to spray areas of thick vegetation in your landscape.
  • Remove debris from your yard.
  • Mow grass regularly and keep shrubbery trimmed.
  • Use pesticides safely and effectively. Read and carefully follow label directions on any insecticides or mosquito repellents you use.
  • Always choose a pesticide that is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for your intended use.
  • For more details on mosquito control and other issues, visit the LSU AgCenter’s Web site at www.lsuagcenter.com.

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    Contact: Mary Grodner at (225) 578-2364 or mgrodner@agcenter.lsu.edu
    Writer: Rick Bogren at (225) 578-5839 or rbogren@agcenter.lsu.edu

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