Florence floods breed large, aggressive mosquitoes

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- A North Carolina city dealing with fallout from Hurricane Florence has been swarmed by aggressive mosquitoes nearly three times larger than regular mosquitoes.

RELATED: Florence was the nation's second wettest storm, NC State scientist says

North Carolina State University entomology professor Michael Reiskind tells The Fayetteville Observer that Florence's floodwater has caused eggs for mosquito species such as the Psorophora ciliata to hatch. These mosquitoes, often called 'gallinippers,' are known for their painful bite and often lay eggs in low-lying damp areas.

RELATED: Why your blood type could make you a mosquito magnet

The eggs lie dormant in dry weather and hatch as adults following heavy rains. Reiskind says the state has 61 mosquito species, and "when the flood comes, we get many, many billions of them."

He says a silver lining is the mosquitoes aren't transmitting many diseases, but resident Robert Phillips still describes their rise as "a bad science fiction movie."

The video on this page is from an earlier story.

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