By Jennifer Nall
THE “buggy equivalent” of a 100-year hurricane has slammed into St. Charles Parish with residents from Norco, Ama and Kenner to Boutte, Paradis, Bayou Gauche and Des Allemands complaining that this season’s crop of insects is the worst they’ve ever seen. And they won’t get any arguments from parish operations manager William Tut, who says 2006 has indeed been a banner year for mosquitos that are so thick in some places that not even a seasoned professional such as himself dares to mess with them. “I don’t know what’s going on – this is the worst I’ve seen it,” he told the Herald-Guide. “The ones out there now are little black things about the size of the tip of your finger. They’ll bite you during the day and night.
“The other day I stopped my vehicle and the next thing I know the windshield and my side window were covered with them.
“I thought to myself, “There’s no way I’m getting out and letting those things eat me up.’ And we’ve been spraying extra, too.”
Steve Pavlovich, of the parish’s mosquito control office, says Tut is right on – this has been a banner year for “skeeters.”
“The mosquito numbers are higher than we’re used to seeing,” he explains. “The salt marsh mosquitoes have been causing a lot of trouble the last few weeks and they are aggressive.”
The increase of mosquitoes is due to the high tides in mid-October and the rainfall in late October, according to Pavlovich, noting that standing water provides a perfect enviornment for mosquitos to breed. Mosquito control has been spraying in the morning and at night via the air and by truck.
“We usually spray five times a week, but we have increased spraying to six nights a week.
“There are 60 types of mosquitoes in Louisiana,” Pavlovich says.