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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Thick clouds of mosquitoes kill livestock after Hurricane Laura

Researchers estimates that hundreds of cattle and a few horses have been killed in a five-parish area.
Credit: Dr. Craig Fontenot
A load of dead cattle in Evangeline Parish. Livestock deaths from mosquitoes have been occurring throughout southwest Louisiana.

VILLE PLATTE, La. — Experts in southwest Louisiana say clouds of mosquitoes have been so thick since Hurricane Laura that they're killing cattle and horses.

Veterinarian Craig Fontenot of Ville Platte says the swarms drain animals' blood and animals also become exhausted from constantly moving in an attempt to avoid the biting insects. 

LSU AgCenter agent Jeremy Hebert said he has spoken to several cattle owners who have lost as many as eight animals. He had also heard of three mosquito-related deaths of horses.

Fontenot estimates that hundreds of cattle and a few horses have been killed in his five-parish area.

“There’s a lot on the verge of dying,” Fontenot said. 

A photo he took shows mosquitoes blanketing a bull's belly.

Credit: Dr. Craig Fontenot
Mosquitoes feed on a cow.

LSU AgCenter agents say spraying has begun to thin the hordes pushed out of marshes by the storm that made landfall Aug. 27.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.