Recent arctic blast likely expected to delay local mosquito season

Updated: Jan. 24, 2018 at 7:12 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - While most people won't soon forget the chilling ice and snow last week, it also means one very likely and pleasant consequence.

An expected delay to the start of mosquito season. And it turns out, such a delay could deliver a big health benefit for all of us.

When ice and snow invaded the ArkLaTex, it may have been difficult to see any benefit from it. But Caddo Parish Mosquito Control Manager Bryan Glascock credits that arctic blast for a likely delay to the start of mosquito season.

"Right now, I'm thinking maybe trapping probably the end of February and not spraying probably until it warms up significantly in March, late March, maybe even April," explained Glascock.

Glascock told KSLA that in recent winters, absent a hard freeze, standing water never really got cold enough, long enough, to substantially slow mosquito breeding.

We're told a slow start for mosquito season cuts down on the risk of diseases like the West Nile Virus.

"When you have more mosquitoes early on you have (a) better chance of getting West Nile early on because mosquitoes will start feeding earlier on birds and stuff like that," added Glascock.

But he cautioned that a slow start does not necessarily guarantee a mild mosquito season.

"Let's say in March we get 5 or 6 inches of rain and April we get a ton of rain, we could still end up with a lot of mosquitoes this summer."

Glascock said more than 13-thousand calls will come into mosquito control in a bad season. Just ask 82-year-old Robert Alford of Shreveport, who is no stranger to mosquitoes, living the last 40-plus years just a few hundred yards from a city drainage ditch.

In fact, Alford walked us out to his driveway on Wyoming Circle and a sight he's already concerned about - standing water from a leak.

Alford pointed and said, "You see where they dug up down here? And it lasted about two days."

Alford and his neighbors just hope the problem is fixed before mosquito season gets underway.

Mosquito abatement is no easy task in Caddo Parish, which covers 800 square miles. That may help explain why this year's budget calls for half a million dollars to attack the problem.

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