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:
For more details on mosquito control and other issues, visit the LSU AgCenter’s Web site at www.lsuagcenter.com.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture