With the unusually wet winter, mosquito season seems to have kicked into high gear early this year. The Parish, through the Health Department, operates two mosquito trucks that serve the entire Parish. This year, based on the newly formed zones for spraying, the Parish should be covered every 2-3 weeks, weather permitting.
There are things that you can do around your house to help mitigate the mosquito population. The Parish offers the following tips:
- Get rid of standing water in rain gutters, old tires, buckets, plastic covers, toys or any other container where mosquitoes can breed.
- Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels and potted plant trays at least once a week to eliminate potential mosquito habitats.
- Drain temporary pools of water or fill with dirt.
- Keep swimming pool water treated and circulating.
- Landscape your yard using citronella, lemon balm (horsemint), catnip, marigolds, basil, lavender, peppermint, rosemary and geraniums, which all have naturally occurring repellants.
While out and about this summer, Parish residents are encouraged to use the following precautions to reduce their exposure to mosquitoes:
- Use EPA-registered mosquito repellents when necessary and follow label directions and precautions closely.
- Tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks to cover gaps in your clothing where mosquitoes can get to your skin.
- Use head nets, long sleeves and long pants if you venture into areas with high mosquito populations, such as salt marshes.
- Stay indoors at sunrise, sunset and early in the evening when mosquitoes are most active, especially if there is a mosquito-borne disease warning in effect.
- Replace your outdoor lights with yellow “bug” lights, which tend to attract fewer mosquitoes than ordinary lights. The yellow lights are NOT repellents, however.
Residents may contact the Health Department at (318) 357-2266 to find out what zone they are in and to get information on when their zone is going to be sprayed. Residents who have chemical sensitivities or are beekeepers that notify the Health Department of their location will not be sprayed.