The widespread flooding that has closed roads and blocked people from their homes has also given a new lease on life to mosquitoes.
Shannon Rider, interim director of the Ouachita Parish Mosquito Abatement District, said the parish has seen a mosquito population higher than normal for this time of year because of the swollen rivers and bayous across northeastern Louisiana. As it does every year, district staff pulled mosquito traps that tested positive for the West Nile virus, but the positive results didn’t come until late June.
“The trap counts are actually low. but we know they are higher than for normal for the fall,” Rider said. “These numbers have been continually the same since the rain started. Right now we’re still spraying with our trucks and waiting to see what happens when water goes down.”
The mosquito season has been especially long this year. In the spring, unseasonably warm temperatures brought an early start and the region’s standing water has extended it into November.
Apart from the region drying out, a cold snap could solve the lingering mosquito problem, Rider said. “The temperature varies, depending on the species, but a freeze would definitely help. If no new eggs hatch, what the trucks don’t get, the adults die of old age. we’ll just go into the normal fall or winter season.”
The National Weather Service does not forecast freezing temperatures for the next 10 days. Read More http://www.thenewsstar.com/article/20091106/UPDATES01/91106046