Mosquitoes kill cattle in Louisiana after hurricane

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Huge swarms of mosquitoes spill blood and kill livestock in Louisiana after Hurricane Laura hit the state.

The mosquitoes that were driven from the Louisiana swamps as a result of the storm are draining blood from deer and cattle, as well as some goats and horses, who are exhausted and dying from blood loss, veterinarian Craig Fontenot told the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center.

“You can’t get enough oxygen,” explained Fontenot.

Deer on a Louisiana ranch where they were killed by hordes of mosquitos. (Dr. Craig Fontenot via AP)

Farmers in an area with five parishes east and northeast of the parishes where the storm landed on Aug. 27 have likely lost 300 to 400 cattle, said Dr. Craig Fontenot, a Ville Platte-based large animal veterinarian.

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One deer breeder lost about 30 of his 110 animals, many of which had already been sold, Fontenot said.

“He says he lost over $ 100,000,” the vet said.

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Jeremy Hebert, an agent with LSU AgCenter in Acadia Township, said the mosquito population “just exploded in the southwestern part of the state,” and according to LSU, spray programs appear to be helping.

Buildings and homes flood near Lake Charles, La, after Hurricane Laura  (AP Photo / David J. Phillip, File)

Buildings and homes flood near Lake Charles, La, after Hurricane Laura (AP Photo / David J. Phillip, File)

“Spraying has reduced the population tremendously. It made a difference day and night,” he said.

Fans and covers could also help, although covers could cause heat stress, said AgCenter extension vet Dr. Christine Navarre.

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The death of farm animals by mosquitoes is not a new phenomenon. Fontenot said they continued to occur after Hurricane Lili in 2002 and Hurricane Rita in 2005. Florida and Texas had similar problems after hurricanes, he said.

So far, 27 people have died as a result of the hurricane and the damage it caused.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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