Sunrise Interviews: Keeping mosquitoes in check

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 7:16 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - While nobody wants to deal with mosquito bites, they can be hard to avoid when you’re living in Louisiana. Scott Harrington with Calcasieu Parish Mosquito Control joined us this morning to talk about why we’re seeing so many of these pesky blood-suckers right now.

Harrington says it’s a simple formula, when we get a lot of rain it’s going to create breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Most of the insects tend to hatch in recently flooded areas like pastures, rice fields, and even in people’s backyards. He says it only takes about 5 to 7 days for mosquitoes to develop once their eggs are covered with water.

The Parish Mosquito Control works to keep their population in check during these times with additional spraying. The control unit has two aircraft and fourteen spray trucks that are out every night. But Harrington reminds residents that Calcasieu Parish covers a lot of land so it does take some time for the unit to go everywhere it’s needed.

Harrington says the issue they’re having right now is that there have been multiple hatch-offs that will continue with more rainfall.

The real danger with mosquitoes is obviously the diseases they carry like the West Nile Virus. So far there have been 26 human cases of the virus this year in Louisiana and 2 deaths. However, there have been no cases in our area so far.

The control unit is constantly monitoring the mosquitoes in our area for the virus by taking samples of their eggs which are put in a vial and shipped to a lab at LSU. If the lab comes back with a positive result from that sample, the unit will do an areal spray of the area where it was taken to ensure the infected mosquitoes are exterminated.

Harrington says the best way to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes are simple solutions we’re all accustomed to. You should go around your yard and empty any containers that might be holding water from the rain. You can also wear long pants and use repellant if you’re going to be outside doing yard work.

If you’re having a particularly bad mosquito problem in your area you can report it to the Parish control unit by calling 337-721-3780 who will send someone out to take a look.