‘Mosquito-pocalypse’: North Carolina residents battle massive bugs after hurricane
Massive, aggressive mosquitoes are swarming areas in North Carolina weeks after Hurricane Florence tore through the region.
The mosquitoes buzzing around, known as Psorophora ciliata, are roughly the size of a nickel, have striped legs and are known to have a painful bite. They are also about 20 times the size of most common mosquitoes.
After Hurricane Florence made landfall North Carolina on Sept. 14, flooding created the perfect breeding ground for this type of mosquito, as the standing waters allowed eggs to hatch, Michael Reiskind, an entomology professor at North Carolina State University, told the Fayetteville Observer.
These type of mosquitoes often lay their eggs in low-lying areas with damp soil and grassy overgrowth. The eggs lie dormant in dry weather and then hatch following heavy rains or flooding.
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“The female has a strategy of laying lots and lots of eggs. The eggs are good at surviving, kind of riding it out and waiting for a big flood,” Reiskind said.
Although they are pesky, health officials said they do not pose any immediate health risk to humans.
‘Bad science fiction movie’
Robert Phillips of Fayetteville, N.C., told the Fayetteville Observer that when he went to leave his house last week, he was swarmed by the aggressive mosquitoes, referring to it as “a bad science fiction movie.”
“They were inundating me, and one landed on me. It was like a small black bird. I told my wife, ‘Gosh, look at the size of this thing.’ I told her that I guess I’m going to have to use a shotgun on these things if they get any bigger.”
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In an attempt to combat the pesky critters, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper dedicated US$4 million in relief funds. The Fayetteville Observer reported that as of Monday, the city was already spraying insecticide to kill off the mosquitoes.
Over the past week, other North Carolina residents have taken to social media to express their annoyance with the large bugs.
North Carolina resident, Cassie Rulene Vadovsky, posted a video on Facebook last week showing the large mosquitoes bouncing off the windows of a vehicle.
“This is insane, you should have seen just before this photo when I first pulled up,” she wrote on Facebook. “Mosquito-pocalypse is in full effect and there is no slowing it down.”
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