Farmers in parishes east and northeast of where the Category 4 Hurricane storm landfall say they have lost around 400 cattle to mosquito swarms.
In Caddo, the parish’s mosquito control office has sent off 189 specimens to be tested at the LSU AgCenter. Kelvin Samuel, assistant director of Caddo Animal Services, says 25 have come back positive for West Nile virus.
As a result, Samuel says, people have come down with the virus as well.
“In Caddo Parish, we have four West Nile cases," Samuel says. “There are three types of West Nile: asymptomatic, fever and neuro-invasive. Caddo Parish has three neuro-invasive and one fever. Of course, neuro-invasive is the more serious of the three. It affects the brain and the spinal cord. It can cause brain damage or death."
He says Caddo is leading the state with West Nile virus cases. Caddo has had 4 cases. There has been 1 each in Bossier and St. Tammany parishes. And Tangipahoa Parish has had 2 cases.
Samuel says they are seeing more mosquitos in northern Caddo and are spraying the areas most affected. That also gives them a chance to educate the residents in that area how they can help keep themselves safe, as well.
Residents are urged to wear bug spray containing 15% or more of Deet, wear pants and long-sleeved shirts when possible and eliminate water standing near their homes.
“Mosquitos are still running rampant,” Samuel says. “Avoid perfumes and colognes when outdoors, close windows and doors. And if you have any pet water bowls, you should empty those daily. Empty pots and vases, old tires are also breeding grounds for mosquitoes.”
Samuel says people can come by the Caddo animal shelter at 1500 Monty St in Shreveport to pick up BTI granules, which can be used to kill mosquitoes.
“You only need about a teaspoon and that treats about 50 to 100 feet. The key is you have to see the larvae in the water when you use it.”
Samuel says although the mosquito season is winding down, they are still rampant. He says Caddo Mosquito Control tests areas with a higher breeding amount daily and will continue to spray through the end of October.