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Mosquitoes causing problems for livestock owners after Hurricane Delta

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Posted at 10:16 PM, Oct 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 08:22:23-04

In the aftermath of Hurricane Delta, farmers are faced with a familiar problem, clouds of mosquitoes.

It might sound like a small problem, but it can become a big issue that can even result in the death of livestock.

Justin Fuselier's livestock were swarmed with hundreds of mosquitoes just one day after Hurricane Delta. With such a large amount of mosquitoes, it can cause stress on the livestock’s bodies.

"They are more tender under their bellies and on their legs so they all tend to want to lay down and not graze. As a result, they are losing blood and then they are just getting fatigued because they are not sleeping and the cumulative stress of all those things together sometimes animals will succumb,” said Fuselier.

According to Dr. Malcolm Vidrine with LSU-E, the type of mosquito most farmers in Acadiana are seeing is psorophora columbiae or “dark rice field mosquito” which can be deadly for livestock.

"They lay their eggs on the ground in areas that will become wet and when they do become wet the eggs hatch and if you get enough rain to keep it wet for 3 to 4 days then not only will the eggs hatch but the mosquito larvae will fully developed and you will get an outbreak,” said Vidrine.

Fuselier says the mosquitos were much worse for Hurricane Laura, but this time around he's using remedies like burning hay and essential oil to help reduce the strain on his cattle.

"When the mosquitoes got really bad they would stay in the tall grass, stay and rub the mosquitoes off their body. I think that is what saved us here because we didn't lose any cattle,” said Fuselier.

Dr. Vidrine believes that these types of mosquitoes will decrease as we move into cooler temperatures.

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