The Reality of Bites
Coastal Mississippi braces for resurgence of mosquitoes post-Katrina
Of the 175-odd species of mosquitoes in the United States, 56 call Mississippi home, and eight to 10 in particular hang out on the state’s Gulf Coast. And more than two weeks after Hurricane Katrina blew adult mosquitoes away, the eggs they left behind are starting to hatch, releasing new populations of youngsters hungry for human blood. With many people in the region living without roofs or windows, the biters may at best be even more pesky than usual, and at worst spread West Nile virus, though that hasn’t happened in the region yet this year. Still, state entomologists are trapping mosquitoes to identify which species are making a comeback, then testing them for West Nile. The feds say they’ll conduct aerial spraying if currently low mosquito numbers resurge past the coping point. Planes raining pesticides over roofless homes — haven’t these people suffered enough?