Mosquito swarms are attacking in flooded areas of North Carolina!
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.
The ones plaguing the Carolinas are called “Gallinippers,” or “Psorophora ciliata,” according to entomologist Michael Waldvogel of North Carolina State University (NCSU). This species that 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.
“There’s 61 species of mosquitoes in North Carolina and of those, probably 15 to 20 would be highly responsive to floodwaters in this way,” said Michael Reiskind, Associate Professor of the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at NCSU. “When you have major flooding, a lot of these eggs hatch and you can see rapid population growth.”
Just how much growth?
Reiskind surveyed an area in Raleigh, the state’s capital, around the time of Hurricane Florence to monitor mosquito populations.
“Before the storm, I went out for 5-minutes and counted just three mosquitos in that time. A week after the storm, in those 5-minutes I had eight of them. Then after two weeks, (I counted) 50 in that time, and our area didn’t get hit the hardest,” Reinskind said.
Vadovsky posted a video on Facebook of the swarm around her home, generating over 76,000 views and counting. In the video, her daughter can be heard asking, “Why are you doing that – taking pictures of the wasps?” To which Vadovsky responds, “They’re not wasps. They’re mosquitoes.”
“O my word. Lord help us. Those boogers are gonna eat us alive,” comments North Carolinian Pennie Thomas. “They bit me through my shoe over here in Fayetteville. Took my son’s home early from football practice cuz the field was covered in em,” comments Tristan Ortiz.