Summer is right around the corner and temperatures are heating up. This also means that life is returning to the swamp and with the nicer weather plenty of biting bugs are coming back. Here is a short list of some of the most common insects that will give you a heard time when visiting Louisiana’s swamps.
Red fire ants, found in Louisiana, can cause a lot of trouble. Their stings are painful and can even be dangerous for some people and pets. In the spring, summer and early fall, just about every time it rains, virgin queens and kings swarm out of mounds and fly off to begin new colonies.
You will find Mosquitoes everywhere in the hot, humid, rainy Louisiana climate. They transmit West Nile Virus, which has caused dozens of deaths in the state. In general, the disease is treatable and has a low mortality rate, but its flu-like symptoms are unpleasant to say the least.
Horse-flies or horseflies are flies in the family Tabanidae in the insect order Diptera. They are often large and agile in flight. The females bite animals, including humans, to obtain blood. Those bites can really hurt. Horse-flies prefer to fly in sunlight, avoiding dark and shady areas, and are inactive at night.
Chiggers are also called berry bugs, harvest mites, red bugs, scrub-itch mites. They (Trombicula sp.) are arachnids, relatives of spiders, mites, and ticks. Chiggers will give you itchy red bumps and eat up your ankles. They prefer shady areas with plenty of moisture. The ones that actually bite you are the teeny-tiny, red larvae about 1/150-inch in diameter or almost too small to see. After they feed on you, they drop to the ground and change into non-annoying adults whose only job is to mate and produce eggs. Wear long pants and spray well around your socks and from your knees down on your pants to not get bitten.