Fighting the Bite

Rachael Penton

POSTED: Monday, June 23, 2014 - 3:42pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 9:04am

(Ascension Parish)- They swarm, they bite, they carry diseases and for most people-- they're just plain annoying. There are more than 65 different types of mosquitoes in Louisiana and one group in Ascension Parish is doing all that they can to get rid of as many of these pests as possible.

Summer time storms here in Louisiana bring more than just rain.

"Bottom line is when there's more water there's more mosquitoes. They have to have water to breed," says Ascension Parish Mosquito Control Department director David Matassa.

The Ascension Parish Mosquito Control Department is busy this time of year, patrolling the streets and making home calls to combat the annoying insects.

"We're spraying an adulticide in the bushes. That's where the mosquitoes tend to hang out. This will kill them instantly. I'm also going to spray some stuff on the walls that will kill the ones that come later and land on them," adds Robert Bergeon, a Mosquito Control Specialist with the department.

"After the mosquito specialists are finished patrolling these streets they bring the mosquitoes back here to the lab for testing."

To find out if they're carrying deadly diseases like West Nile Virus.

"Since it attacks the immune system it's very important that you don't get bitten by a mosquito. It could be infected," adds Matassa.

But this week is National Mosquito Control Awareness Week so the department is asking residents to check their own properties for possible mosquito breeding areas.

"Anything, any container in the back yard that you might not be aware of. A baby swimming pool. You know dump it upside down or a bird bath. Shoot fresh water in it once a week and you should be okay but still water, stagnant water. You'll breed mosquitoes."

It's important for everyone to get rid of standing water so that both home owners and the department can continue to "pilez" those summer time mosquitoes.

"Pilez mosquito. That means to swat, kill- whatever it takes to get rid of mosquitoes."

If you're having a problem with mosquitoes at your home, you can send a spray request to the department. Just give them a call at 225-621-9613. You can also fill out a form online by clicking here:

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