You’re not crazy. Your neighbors and friends may not believe you, but we do. There are some Godzilla mosquitoes in the Charlotte area.
As we brace ourselves for another mosquito season in the Carolinas, you may be one of the few unlucky folks to have come across the super-sized (with a bite to match) monster mosquito known as the Gallinipper. In the good ole days, these assassins were largely limited to weird, distant, foreign tropical places like Florida. But their range has extended and we now find them in the civilized world.
The Gallinipper is ruthless, extremely aggressive and can pierce through multiple layers of clothes, even heavy fabrics like denim. Its hearty physique (approximately 20 times the size of a standard mosquito) also makes it tougher to deter and control. The Gallinipper’s bite is extremely painful and as with other mosquitoes, individual samples have tested positive for West Nile and Encephalitis. That said, the CDC currently advises that the species is not a meaningful vector in the transmission of these diseases.
Similar to other mosquitoes, the Gallinipper has a short life span and depends on moist conditions to breed and propagate. They’re poor flyers and will stick to a close range until carried by wind or storm. While they’re active both during the day and night, their preference is to avoid the hottest time of day and tend to bed down in cooler areas such as shrubbery, mulch beds or shady spots.
The first priority for protecting your family and pets this mosquito season is to eliminate breeding sites from your property and apply DEET-based insect repellent when outdoors. All sources of water collection must be eliminated: clogged gutters, toys, pots, coolers, tires, etc. For purposeful water features, be sure to empty bird baths at least weekly and treat ponds or rain barrels. For additional defense, consider the services of a professional, licensed pest control provider for a mosquito mitigation program at your home or business.