As Hurricane Isaac slammed into the Louisiana coast as a Category 1 storm at the end of August, we were reminded just how unpredictable life can be. Isaac left behind plenty of rainfall, adding to the existing problem of pests, mosquitoes and West Nile.
West Nile: Already a High Threat
As you may already know, West Nile has reached a peak this year, with hundreds of confirmed cases in the southern states alone. Residents have been encouraged to take preventative measures that include avoiding the hours of dusk and dawn, wearing insect repellent on the skin and clothing and dumping out standing water.
With the rainfall from Isaac, standing water has become an even greater problem. Puddles and ponds of murky water have been left in some of the most unlikely places, and while residents may notice standing water in flower pots, gutters and wheelbarrows, there are many other places that are getting missed. These murky waters are the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes and could therefore increase the threat of West Nile, especially as we’re still in the height of the season.
Cleanup Efforts after Isaac
So far this year, there have been 145 cases of West Nile and nine deaths reported in the state of Louisiana. With the high number of mosquitoes, high threat of West Nile and plenty of rainfall from Isaac, there is the potential for swarms of mosquitoes thanks to new breeding areas.
Fortunately, proactive measures from volunteer crews and rescuers to improve flood protection and clean up after Isaac have been effective. Still, there are many areas where standing water sits undetected. As always, health officials remind residents to be proactive by dumping out standing water and being on the outlook for potential mosquito breeding grounds. Some of the larger parishes have professional spray treatments as well to help cut down on these pesky insects. For those who want added protection on their property, a mosquito misting system could prove beneficial, especially after such a rain-heavy storm like Isaac.