Killer mosquito clouds rise from swamp, descend on Louisiana livestock and drain their blood

Katrina Haydon, DCNF

Clouds of mosquitoes are swarming and fatally draining livestock of their blood in southwest Louisiana, according to a Thursday report.

Louisiana-based veterinarian Craig Fontenot said that 300 to 500 cattle have been lost to killer mosquito clouds in a five-parish area following Hurricane Laura, according to the Associated Press.

The bugs attack in large swarms, drawing blood until the targeted animal becomes exhausted and bleeds out under their skin.

“They’re vicious little suckers,” Fontenot said, the AP reported. The mosquitoes have so far claimed the lives of both horses and cows. Fontenot said a deer rancher in the area lost around 30 of his livestock, according to the AP.

“He’s saying it’s over $100,000 he lost,” Fontenot added.

“The population just exploded in the southwest part of the state, “ Louisiana State University AgCenter agent Jeremy Herbert said in a press release.

Fontenot added that the mosquito population also bloomed in the area following Hurricane Lili in 2002 and Hurricane Rita in 2005, the AP reported.

Parish officials have begun spraying areas of concern with insecticides, distributed by planes, according to the LSU AgCnter press release. AgCenter veterinarian Christine Navarre said, “Basically, there are many products that can be applied to the animals, either in a spray, spot-on or with back rubs.”

She continued, “It will depend on what is available locally and what works for the situation.”

Hurricane Laura hit the Louisiana shore Aug. 27 as a Category 4 storm, CNN reported.

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