Thursday, March 30, 2023



North Carolina invaded by “monstrous” blood-sucking mosquitoes

Mosquitoes, unfortunately, are a pesky component of camping. But in North Carolina, following Hurricane Florence, they have hatched in exponential numbers, threatening everyone, not just those camping in the outdoors.

Cassie Vadovsky relates how she returned home after picking up her 4-year-old daughter from school and was greeted by a swarm of blood-thirsty mosquitoes. And not just any mosquitoes. Aggressive, monstrous pests with stripes on their legs, reports USA Today.

“It was like a flurry — like it was snowing mosquitoes,” the stay-at-home mother of two said. “I think my car agitated them. I waited for them to calm down before I grabbed the kids and ran into the house.”

Vadovsky is just one of the many people in North Carolina who is fighting against a monster mosquito outbreak, the result of flooding caused by Hurricane Florence. Mosquito experts say that floodwaters can cause eggs that would have otherwise laid dormant for over a year to hatch – sending billions of the vicious parasites into the air.

This species (“Gallinippers,” or “Psorophora ciliata,” according to entomologist Michael Waldvogel of North Carolina State University) can be three times as large as average mosquitoes and the larvae are known to prey on aquatic animals that are as large as tadpoles. The females grow up to feed on large mammals, humans included, and could bite through one or two layers of cotton.

Vadovsky posted a video on Facebook of the swarm around her home, generating over 76,000 views and counting.

Vadovsky said that the bloodsuckers rest on the windows outside her family’s home in large numbers, waiting to attack. When she or a relative goes outside the mosquitoes swarm.

However, most mosquito species don’t do well once the weather gets cold, so the experts suspect this current plague will die down in the coming weeks. Until then, people in areas ravaged by the storm should wear long sleeves and spray insecticides.

Mosquito Dunks, found at local hardware stores, are donut-shaped products that attack mosquitoes in their developmental stages and can help stop their spread. “These small disks of freeze-dried bacteria dissipate in water and inhibit the reproductive cycle of mosquitos. It’s not an insecticide. It’s a more natural solution that really works,” said Rachel Noble, a professor at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences.

Though mosquitoes are known to carry diseases like Zika and Malaria, Noble said that North Carolinians have the upper hand since those illnesses tend to occur in areas with denser populations. She did warn, though, that the mosquito species that inhabit the Carolinas are capable of carrying West Nile and encephalitis.

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