Louisiana residents are used to nuisance insect species that sometimes swarm into homes or along roadways where bugs often splat onto windshields. Some of the most troublesome flying insects in the state include several species of bees, wasps, assassin bugs and mosquitoes. However, last week, residents of New Orleans, Metairie and other urban and residential areas in the south woke up in the morning to find what looked like millions of mysterious bugs invading their homes and busy roads.
Many residents assumed that the hoards of winged insects were mosquitoes or swarming termites. This is an understandable assumption, after all, Louisiana is home to at least nine documented termite pest species, and 68 mosquito species. However, the non-identifiable insects were far too numerous and widespread to be termite swarms, and if there is one group of insects that Louisiana residents are well acquainted with, it is termites. While winged termites were largely dismissed as the possible pests, several residents decided that the bugs were mosquitoes. Since the bugs seemed to be emerging from canals in eastern New Orleans. The assumption that the bugs were a rare mosquito species seemed to be somewhat plausible, as mosquitoes dwell near areas of water. Then again, just about everyone agreed that they had never seen mosquito swarms of such massive proportions, so many residents continued to panic, while hoping that the inexplicable and excessively thick insect swarms were not a sign that judgement day had arrived.
The degree of terror felt by eastern New Orleans residents living on Hayne Boulevard cannot be understated, as residents claimed that the situation made them feel as though they were living in a horror film universe. Even drivers in New Orleans stopped their cars in the middle of busy streets before running in a panic, as the bugs had managed to swarm within vehicles as well. The Causeway Bridge in Metairie saw such massive insect swarms that many drivers could not see where they were driving, and had to stop until the unrecognizably odd event came to an end.
As it turned out, the swarming bugs were non-biting midges, and while these insects neither bite nor sting, they are well known for being a tremendous nuisance. In response to the biblical insect swarm, a local research entomologist’s phone rang off the hook with questions, comments and screams among residents who were looking for answers, as well as help and perhaps reassurance that such events can, indeed, occur naturally. According to the entomologist, he had never seen a swarm of non-biting midges so massive and overwhelming in his life, and even with his expertise he could not help but to be baffled by the event.
Has an insect swarm ever emerged within your home? If so, did they come from outside, or were they infesting your walls or attic space?
Tags: Flies, Fly control, pest control