Increase of pesky salt marsh mosquitoes in Bayou State due to drought and wildfires

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There has been an insurgence of annoying salt marsh mosquitoes in the Bayou State. LSU Ag Center Entomologist Kristen Healy says a combination of drought and wildfires are contributing factors to this situation.

“You had a very long period of drought and now you’re getting a lot of eggs hatching that hadn’t been hatching for a long long time.”

Salt marsh mosquitoes are a dusk brown color but unlike many other types of mosquitoes, they fly during the day. Healy says saltmarsh have adapted to fly extremely long distances for food sources.

“There’s not a lot of food sources on a salt marsh. These are mammal feeders. They prefer to feed on you know deer or other large mammals. Humans are another great source.”

From the middle of spring through the middle of fall, populations of saltmarsh mosquitoes can be found more than 80 miles inland from coastal waters. Healy encourages Louisianans to avoid places and times when mosquitoes are abundant.

“Personal protection is very important like you would protect yourself from any mosquito wearing long sleeves, long pants, limiting hours when mosquitoes are most active, choosing EPA registered repellents.”

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