Protect yourself from mosquitoes

Wayne L. Kramer, Benedict, Linda F.  |  9/6/2008 12:52:43 AM

News Release Distributed 09/05/08

Most of the mosquitoes being bred in the standing water left in Louisiana from Hurricane Gustav are not the kind that carry West Nile virus, according to LSU AgCenter entomologist and mosquito expert Wayne Kramer.

“The situation now is leading to a proliferation of pest mosquitoes, such as the inland floodwater mosquito,” Kramer said. “These mosquitoes are not vectors of the West Nile virus.”

The mosquitoes that cause West Nile virus, such as the southern house mosquito, are still around, however.

“July and August are the peak season for the mosquitoes that serve as vectors for West Nile virus,” Kramer said.

The southern house mosquito – the most important mosquito vector of West Nile virus in Louisiana – will come into people’s houses at night, Kramer said. And this is a problem for people without power who are leaving their windows open.

“People should try to leave open only windows with screens,” Kramer said. “The best protection is to use a mosquito repellent on their skin.”

The mosquito repellents should include DEET or picaridin, Kramer said.

Currently, mosquito control districts around the state are gearing up to provide some major mosquito protection. Kramer recommends that people contact their local parish government officials to find out the status of mosquito protection in their areas.

More information about mosquitoes and mosquito protection is on the LSU AgCenter Web site at www.lsuagcenter.com. Put “mosquito” in the search box.

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Contact: Wayne Kramer at (225) 578-1835 or cell at (225) 439-4782 or wkramer@agcenter.lsu.edu

Writer: Linda Foster Benedict at (225) 578-2937 or cell at (225) 281-0834 or lbenedict@agcenter.lsu.edu

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