Among the inevitable fallout stemming from the ocean of water dumped on South Texas by Hurricane Harvey will be a hoard of bloodsucking mosquitoes, but state-level entomologists predict the first onslaught won’t be the disease vectors many fear.
“For the past several years we’ve been educating people about disease-transmitting mosquitoes, but we are about to witness a huge emergence of other kinds of mosquitoes,” said Dr. Charles Allen, Texas A&M University department of entomology associate department head at San Angelo. “Due to the big rain event associated with Hurricane Harvey, in a few short days and over the next few weeks we’ll be expecting a large outbreak of what are called floodwater mosquitoes.”
Allen said it’s important to realize the disease-transmitting mosquitoes and the floodwater mosquitoes are two separate developmental types. The floodwater mosquitoes in Texas do not transmit diseases, he said. “There will soon be a lot of mosquitoes and they will be very noticeable, because of their sheer numbers and because they are vicious biters,” he said. “It’s important to realize though that as unpleasant as these will be, they are not a species that typically transmits disease. So at least in the short-term, it’s not a Zika issue and it’s not a West Nile Virus issue.”
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