Mosquito population increasing in SWLA - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Mosquito population increasing in SWLA

(Source: KPLC) (Source: KPLC)

After heavy rainfall the last few weeks, mosquitoes are becoming more common in the area. People are looking for how they can combat the problem.

"We're about to approach summertime, so now is the perfect opportunity to talk about mosquito-related illnesses," said Dr. Danielle Dixon of the Southwest Louisiana Center of Health Services.

"From a pediatric perspective, I always look at it from a common sense approach as to what you can do at your home," Dixon said. "Just make sure around your home, you get rid of standing water - pet dishes with water sitting out or baby wading pool - so you can make sure that it's emptied."

Dr. Dixon says children can wear DEET-containing products.

"If a child is at least 2 months of age, you can use any type of mosquito repellent," said Dixon.

The State Health Department reported 64 cases of West Nile Virus last year.

That's a statistic of which Steve McNeal, owner of Mosquito Authority of Southwest Louisiana, is aware.

"Mosquitoes have always been a nuisance for all of us, but a lot of people are just now becoming aware of the dangers of mosquitoes with the viruses that they carry," McNeal said.

For Debra Sevinsky, she's been bitten five or six times.

"And this is with the mosquito spray on. We're still getting bit," Sevinsky said.

She says the mosquitoes here are different than the ones in Texas.

"In El Paso, it's kind of different, and the mosquito is different. There is a little bit more of the brown mosquito rather than the striped mosquito that's here," Sevinsky said.

McNeal agrees.

"In the last four to six weeks, we've had a tremendous increase in rainfall rates, so that could potentially trigger new outbreaks of mosquitoes," said McNeal.

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