With a warmer winter than usual, the mosquito population has exploded in Louisiana. LSU Assistant Professor of Entomology Kristen Healy says temperature plays a lot into mosquito development. She says the insects are more active when the weather is a little warmer but rain is also factor that plays into an increase in mosquitoes.
“Are we going to have a lot of standing water this year that’s going to hatch those mosquito eggs and provide a habitat for them?”
Healy says with the increased mosquito population, there is also an increased risk for contacting mosquito borne illnesses.
“So things like Zika, they’re transmitted by mosquitoes such as the yellow fever mosquito or the Asian tiger mosquito and temperature plays very much into their development.”
Healy advises everyone, regardless of what the mosquito population is look like, to be wary of West Nile Virus and protect yourself with EPA approved repellents. She also recommends reducing standing water in your backyard can ward of infectious mosquitoes.
“These mosquitoes that are vectors of Zika virus, these love to lay eggs in backyard containers, like buckets, and tires, and trashcans.”