Mega mosquitoes, the so-called gallinippers, have now arrived in central and south Florida. The huge biting insects — up to twenty times the size of regular mosquitoes — earned the alternate nickname of gallinipper because local legend says that they take a gallon of blood when they bite.
Ouch. As The Inquisitr previously reported, Florida authorities knew that the big guys were coming. They first appeared in the state in 2012, but after this wet winter, they’re expected to be much worse in 2013.
Seminole County Mosquito Control director Kelly Deutsch said that Andrea’s rains will probably cause a spike in all mosquito species, including gallinippers.
However, the big gals aren’t all bad. (Only the female mosquitoes bite. You knew that, right?) Their aggression isn’t appreciated when they’re biting through human clothing, but it’s actually helpful when they’re destroying other mosquito species’ larvae.
And, unlike some other mosquito species, the mega mosquitoes aren’t known to carry any diseases like West Nile virus that can harm humans.
The size of this summer’s gallinipper invasion is still an open question, but you can protect yourself with an effective repellent that contains DEET, as well as wearing clothing that covers the arms and legs.
In a colorful warning broadcast in March, a local Florida news station WPBF posted a video report on the gallinipper, including a telling comment from Palm Beach County Mosquito Control spokesman Gary Goode. That cheerful individual joked that the giant biting insect was so huge that when it lands on you, “it really lets you know…it practically breaks your arm.”
Ouch. Here in Louisiana, despite all the rain, I haven’t seen much yet, but we’ve got very aggressive mosquito control authorities.
Post a comment and tell us all about it if you’ve encountered the gallinipper, south and central Florida’s so-called mega mosquito.
[mosquito photo by Henrik Larsson via Shutterstock]