Mega mosquitoes, up to 20 times larger than normal, follow Florence flooding
GREENVILLE, SC (WYFF) - Areas that experienced flooding from Hurricane Florence are now dealing with another problem that sounds like something out of a horror movie.
The standing water left behind by the storm is leading to what USA Today called an outbreak of blood-thirsty, aggressive and monstrous pests.
Gallinippers are a type of mosquito that can grow 20 times larger than their more common cousins, and LiveScience.com reported have gallinippers’ stings are so painful, victims feel like they’ve been stabbed.
A report issued by the University of Florida said: "If mosquitoes were motorcycles, this species would be a Harley Davidson -- big, bold, American-made.”
The mega mosquitoes are more common in warm wet areas such as Florida, but the rains and flooding caused by Florence along with pre-fall heat in the Carolinas has caused ideal conditions for gallinippers.
Gallinippers eggs lie dormant with very few hatching during dry years. But once the conditions are right, they hatch suddenly in large quantities, giving the impression of an outbreak.
There have been many complaints posted online over the past several days about the large aggressive mosquitoes, especially in North Carolina.
Officials have recognized post-hurricane mosquitoes as a problem. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has ordered $4 million be spent on mosquito control in hurricane disaster areas.
The good news is that gallinippers can be controlled by any method used for common mosquitoes, and, despite their size, insect repellents are just as effective for the mega mosquitoes.
The other good news is that gallinippers have not been found to carry any mosquito-borne diseases that affect humans.
Copyright 2018 WYFF. All rights reserved.