Huge swarms of mosquitoes kill hundreds of horses and cows by draining blood

Parts of Louisiana hit hard by Hurricane Laura have been left fighting off hordes of mosquitoes so vast they are killing farm animals by biting them in huge numbers.

The animals are dying from the sheer number of bites, which leave them anemic and bleeding under the skin, as well as from the exhaustion caused by constantly moving to avoid the insects.

According to Dr Craig Fontenot, a vet in the city of Ville Platte, the "vicious little suckers", pushed out of marshes by the huge storm, have already claimed some 300-400 cattle, as well as a few horses. [...]

Hurricanes often present a risk of surging mosquito populations, as eggs laid by floodwater mosquitoes in previous floods start to hatch. While adult mosquitoes generally do not survive a hurricane's high winds, the egg-hatching phase that kicks in after a storm can drive a huge increase in the population.

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6 Responses:

  1. cmt says:

    "An adult reindeer will lose perhaps about 1 liter (about 2 US pints) of blood to biting insects for every week it spends in the tundra." says wikipedia (about reindeer). in Scandinavia, the mosquito swarms are vicious and most repellants just don't; some locals recommend smearing your body with tar. Note: your average jeans will not prevent bites, the proboscis will go straight through. That's what you're in for...
    Oh, and just because it's 2020: we have a few cases of West Nile Fever in humans in germany, and the first confirmated case of African Swine Fever (in swine, not humans, of course).
    16 weeks to go.

  2. Jim says:

    This seems like a good time for my BT vs. BTI rant.

    BT was discovered more than 100 years ago under a rock by a pond in Germany; lasts about five years according to the WHO; has both floating and sinking spores, the latter of which replenish the former when they are killed by sunlight; gets spread around between standing water by birds and other insects; and was used to completely eliminate dengue fever from all of North American between 1940 and 1950.

    BTI was one of the first GMOs; engineered to remove the sinking spores; only lasts 3-6 weeks according to the label (and more like 3-5 in my experience); presumably $ell$ 90x more because it's defective by design; is the only kind you can buy retail (or even wholesale unless you know exactly what you're doing), never got included in WHO guidance about BT, which still implies it should be applied every five years; and therefore sucks.

    My coworkers in Shanghai 2013 attest that I eliminated mosquitoes completely from every corner of the city simply by getting the Bali Laguna restaurant across from Jing'an Temple to put BTI in their pond every month, because the government was still following the once every five years instructions but using BTI instead of BT.

  3. Jeff says:

    I didn't have "Swarms of mosquitoes go on killing rampage" on my 2020 bingo card. I did have "Asteroid impact or flyby (closer than moon)"

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