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Mega-mosquitoes are attacking the Carolinas after Hurricane Florence; here's why


October 10, 2018

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Scientists and Carolina locals alike are now noticing a new after-effect of Hurricane Florence that really bites.

Swarms of super-sized mosquitoes are popping up all over the Carolinas, according to CNN.

The pests spawned from the floodwaters of the hurricane that wreaked havoc on the Southeastern states last month.

The mosquitoes are said to be of the species Psorophora ciliata, commonly known as "gallinippers.” According to CNN, they have zebra striped legs and can be up to three times the size of an average mosquito.

While gallinippers don’t tend to carry many diseases that are harmful to humans, it doesn’t mean that they are harmless. Due to their bigger size, they also have bigger mouths, which means the pests deliver a more painful bite.

Gallinippers tend to show up after heavy rainfall. The females lay eggs in the soil near bodies of water that regularly flood, and, as Quartz reported, the eggs wait years for floodwaters to prompt them to hatch.

“Thanks to Hurricane Florence, mosquito nests across large parts of the Carolinas all flooded at once, prompting a simultaneous hatching of nests that otherwise might have have lain dormant for years," according to Quartz.

Cassie Vadovsky, a resident of North Carolina, posted a video to Facebook that shows the swarms of the mosquitoes around her car. The mosquitoes are so large that her 4-year-old daughter mistook them for wasps.

“It was like a flurry — like it was snowing mosquitos,” the stay-at-home mother of two said, according to USA Today. “I think my car agitated them. I waited for them to calm down before I grabbed the kids and then ran into the house.”

Wired reported the problem to be so bad that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper ordered $4 million in relief funds to combat invading swarms of the nickel-sized bloodsuckers.

The good news: Any remaining gallinippers should be knocked out when the colder temperatures of winter come.

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