More mosquitoes are expected as an aftereffect of the rains brought on by Tropical Storm Isidore, according to experts with the LSU AgCenter.
Dr. Michael Perich, a mosquito expert in the LSU AgCenter's Department of Entomology, said Louisianians can expect higher numbers of the floodwater species of mosquitoes emerging five to seven days after the storm.
"But we probably didn't have enough wind to blow woodland mosquitoes into urban areas," the medical entomologist said.
In addition, Perich said that while there may be larger numbers of mosquitoes hatching out in the days to come, the state's mosquito abatement districts are well aware of the problem. Representatives of those abatement districts already have begun spreading larvicides to kill the immature insects before they reach adulthood and begin flying, he said.
"They'll also be watching for adults and begin spraying adulticides when those come out too," he said.
Floodwater mosquitoes lay eggs at water edges, but the eggs don't hatch until the water rises. With deeper water, more eggs are exposed and begin to hatch.
Some floodwater mosquitoes can be associated with diseases, including the West Nile virus, Perich said, suggesting people remain aware of the problem and take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
LSU AgCenter experts offer the following tips for controlling mosquitoes and protecting yourself from mosquito bites:
-Avoid mosquito bites and protect yourself by wearing a mosquito repellent each time you go outside.
-Wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants, when possible, and avoid dark colors.
-Avoid outdoor activities from dusk to dawn - when mosquitoes are more active.
-Fight mosquitoes. Don't allow water to stand - or treat standing water with approved insecticides to kill mosquito larvae.
-Repair window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
-Use an insecticide to spray areas of thick vegetation in your landscape.
-Remove debris from your yard.
-Mow grass regularly and keep shrubbery trimmed.
-Use pesticides safely, effectively. Read and carefully follow label directions on any insecticides or mosquito repellents you use.
-Always choose a pesticide that is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for your intended use.
For more details on mosquito control and other issues, visit the LSU AgCenter's Web site at www.lsuagcenter.com.