Bug swarms a nuisance for drivers traveling over Lake Pontchartrain
People crossing the Causeway in New Orleans are likely hitting the car wash after swarms of bugs are leaving their mark on vehicles. The bugs are a type of fly known as the non-biting midge and they breed in water like mosquitos but only live three to five days. Research Entomologist Ed Freytag says the high numbers are likely due to the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway.
“These guys like water that is filthy and high in nutrients, so being as we are getting a bunch of water from the river into the lake, it’s not salty anymore,” said Freytag.
The bugs do not pose a health risk to humans. Freytag says there is uncertainty on how much longer these swarms will be occurring.
“Sometimes it’s a swarm one night, then a couple of weeks, or a couple of days later, we might have another swarm. We’ve been having the swarms for about a week now, and they are still coming out,” said Freytag.
Freytag says many of the bugs being hit are carrying eggs, and not washing them off a vehicle as soon as possible to have detrimental effects on a car’s aesthetics.
“When they hit the windshield, there is a lot of grease spread on your windshield or on your paint, and if you let that dry up, it might be difficult to remove it or it might actaully do some damage to your paint,” said Freytag.
See the images Louisiana residents are sharing of their vehicles following the swarms below.