Hurricane Laura exacerbates mosquito problems with livestock

Louisiana

This Sept. 2, 2020, photo provided by veterinarian Craig Fontenot, of Ville Platte, La., shows deer at a ranch where they were killed by hordes of mosquitoes. Experts in southwest Louisiana say clouds of mosquitoes have been so thick since Hurricane Laura that they’re killing cattle and horses. (Dr. Craig Fontenot via AP)

IOWA, La. (LSU AgCenter) – Hordes of mosquitoes pushed out of the marsh by Hurricane Laura continue to menace livestock.

“The population just exploded in the southwest part of the state,” said Jeremy Hebert, LSU AgCenter agent in Acadia Parish.

Spraying programs in several parishes have made a big difference. “The spraying has dropped the populations tremendously. It’s made a night-and-day difference,” Hebert said.

Jimmy Meaux, AgCenter agent in Calcasieu and Jefferson Davis parishes, said mosquitoes remain a severe problem, but spraying programs have started to control the pest.

Hebert said he has talked to several cattle owners who have lost as many as eight head. He also heard of three mosquito-related deaths of horses.

AgCenter regional livestock specialist Vince Deshotel said cattle confined in small holding pastures were starting to show signs of stress made worse by the heat and increasing insect populations. Cattle deaths from mosquitoes are widespread.

“I lost a bull Friday night,” Deshotel said.

He said he met four other cattle producers during the weekend who were having to dispose of carcasses.

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