Ascension Parish leaders prepare for peak mosquito season

Ascension Parish leaders prepare for peak mosquito season

ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Recent rainfalls have created widespread breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

While there has not been any reported cases of West Nile Virus in the Metro area this season, Ascension Parish leaders are not taking it lightly.

As the sounds of summer fill the air, insects are settling into a typical Louisiana weather pattern. It is a perfect scenario for mosquitoes to nest and create pesky and sometimes deadly situations for those who come in contact with them.

Ascension Parish Mosquito Control technician Mike Yszara collects trapped mosquitoes daily to test them for West Nile Virus.

"The adults come into the trap smelling the fish oil. It attracts them," Yszara said.

There are 24 traps scattered around Ascension Parish. It only took one night for mosquitoes to fill one of the traps in St. Amant.

Ascension Parish Mosquito Control Director David Matassa said it is typical this time of year.

"So far, the mosquito world in Ascension Parish has been very busy," Matassa said.

Matassa said his technicians have been spraying for mosquitoes since the beginning of spring. He said recently they have enhanced their efforts by collecting and killing larvae in neighborhood ditches.

"Usually if they have minnows running around, there's not larva because minnows eat the larva," Yszara said

Residents need to also remember to take steps to eliminate a potential mosquito population. They are often told to wear repellent and long sleeves, but Matassa said dumping standing water from potted plants and tires is one of the most important things they can do.

"The real truth of the equation is more water means more mosquitoes. Period. That's the bottom line," Matassa said.

Matassa said it is also wise to invest in a fan.

"The mosquitoes are very weak. If you have fans on your patio, they can't really fly in the wind," Matassa said.

Matassa said adding a few simple steps to your daily routine could a long way in preventing a deadly virus. Technicians, like Yszara, are set to help tackle any trouble that might come their way.

Matassa said his crews are equipped to spray in the parish seven days a week, if necessary.

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