BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — With this warm weather, you may be keeping your eyes out for one pesky bug. A heavy start of mosquito season could be one rainstorm away.
“In Louisiana and south Louisiana, mosquito season’s almost all the time,” said East Baton Rouge Parish Mosquito Abatement Assistant Director Randy Vaeth.
The mosquito, Louisiana’s least favorite bloodsucker, had a busy season last year. Vaeth said mosquitos bring in multiple diseases.
“We had kind of an active West Nile season in 2021. In fact, we even had a human case kind of late in the year,” said Vaeth.
This year’s numbers have been pretty low for right now because of the state’s hot and dry winter weather.
“This is kind of split between moderate drought and abnormally dry. Typically, this time of year, we would have almost eight inches of rain here in southern Louisiana, and we’re at about half that,” said Vaeth. “We’re at four inches right now. And so that really translates into a lot fewer mosquitoes.”
Vaeth said people have been calling in about big bugs that look like giant mosquitoes, which are actually crane flies.
“Right now, people are calling, they’re concerned. They see these, what they call giant mosquitoes flying around their house. They won’t bite you. In fact, most of them don’t even feed. They’re harmless,” said Vaeth.
But, this could just be the calm before the storm. He said things could have a drastic change with even a small rainstorm.
“This can change overnight with a big significant rain event. The mosquitoes could certainly hatch off and anywhere from four to 14 days later, we would have lots of mosquitoes,” he explained.
The abatement team has started treating areas around homes and plan to run night spray trucks later in the season.
When the shift to mosquito season does come, remember to empty out the birdbaths and standing water around your property.