SWARTZ, La. (KNOE) - The Ouachita Parish Mosquito Abatement District begins nightly spraying on April 24 in the northeast region of the parish near Swartz and Sterlington.
Despite the ArkLaMiss' mild winter, temperature does not play a role in mosquito breeding. They lay eggs in standing water, so a damp spring season most often leads to a heavy mosquito population in the summer.
Director of The Ouachita Parish Mosquito Abatement District, Shannon Rider, says as far as illnesses go, West Nile is of the biggest concern in the area. However, she says cases of encephalitis and Zika are expected as well.
Rider says staying protected is easy. Remove any standing water from around your home to prevent mosquitoes from breeding, wear repellent, and throw out cologne and perfume.
"Wear longer sleeves and pants, although as summer approaches, that gets harder to do," says Rider. "[Wear] lighter colored clothing. Avoid scents and lotions, perfumes, things like that. But again, source reduction goes a long way in preventing mosquitoes from breeding around your home."
Rider also says to stay indoors for at least 15 minutes if you see or hear a mosquito truck in your neighborhood.
For a checklist on potential mosquito breeding spots around your home, visit the link in our related links section.