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Mosquito season: Time to get ready

Thursday, March 26, 2020
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Leader file photo 
A child watches mosquito larvae swim in a jar during a children’s program about mosquitoes held in the summer of 2018 at the Lincoln Parish Library. Mosquito control officials say now is the time of year for residents to checks their yards for standing water or other places where disease-spreading mosquitoes can breed.

If you thought you saw a mosquito buzz by while you were outside trying to beat the coronavirus cabin fever, you did. But relax.

While the floodwater variety of mosquitoes that are beginning to appear locally will bite, they don’t carry disease.

“They’re just a pest,” Kelli Nestrude, control manager with Vector Disease Control International, the company that provides mosquito abatement for the city of Ruston, said Tuesday.

“Mosquitoes cannot transmit COVID-19,” she said.

However, now is the time to starting thinking about preparing for the summer mosquito season.

Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Discarded tires, cans and other containers that tend to hold stagnant water are some of the places the insects like the best.

“It will be growing mosquitoes, if not now, very soon,” Nestrude said.

The disease-bearing mosquito most often found in the area during the summer months is the Culex quinquesasciatus.

The species can transmit the West Nile virus.

Though VDCI is not currently spraying, Nestrude said she expects that to be begin “fairly soon.”

While VDCI officials can’t make home visits currently because of the government’s stay-at-home and business curtailment order done in response to the coronavirus, abatement staffers talk to residents by telephone about any mosquito issues they’re having, Nestrude said.

To reach VDCI, call 254-2083 about mosquito-related questions.