Pilez Mosquito Week in Ascension Parish

Staff reports

Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez has proclaimed the week of June 26 through July 2 as “Pilez Mosquito Week in Ascension Parish.”

Ascension Parish joins all parishes in Louisiana in observance of National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, as designated by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA). The word “Pilez” is Cajun French for crush, kill or destroy, an appropriate term when trying to combat one of Louisiana’s most prevalent pests.

“Everyone knows south Louisiana has its fair share of mosquitoes and the health concerns they bring with them, so it’s important to remind everyone that mosquito control is a community-wide effort,” President Martinez said. “With common sense practices, we are asking our residents to join us in fighting this annual problem.”

Louisiana is home to dozens of species of mosquitoes which inhabit a wide range of habitats, said Ascension Parish Mosquito Control Department Supervisor David Matassa. However, they all require standing water to complete their developmental cycle, he said.

“By reducing standing water on your property, whether it’s a home or business, it is the best way for parish residents to help combat the mosquito problem,” Matassa said.

Open, water-filled containers provide mosquitoes with their best breeding grounds in developed areas. According to the AMCA, water left standing for five to seven days has the potential to produce literally hundreds of mosquitoes per day – mosquitoes that will stay close to that original water source.

Containers like old tires, buckets and cans that are not being used should be emptied of standing water. Other potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes include old appliances, unplugged boats, toys, plastic sheeting, roof gutters, pool coverings and garbage cans. Even an upturned bottle top or a discarded candy wrapper can be a haven for mosquito larvae, according to the AMCA.

Receptacles where standing water is desired – pet dishes, bird baths, reservoirs for flower pots or planters – should be flushed out with freshwater every four days to prevent mosquitoes from completing their developmental cycle.