LACOMBE- With spring-like weather at its peak, it's a challenge for Joanna Parr to wrangle her 19-month-old when outdoors.
But she's had to take on that feat because of mosquitos.
"It's hard with the little ones because they want to go outside and he can't go outside and play, we've got to bring him inside," she said, "He's getting lots of bites."
She said the increase in her Lacombe neighborhood has been noticeable over the past two weeks, when the parish spray plane has not been flying.
Mosquito Control says that's, on one hand, due to the loss of their large plane, and two esteemed pilots, in a heartbreaking crash. But St. Tammany Mosquito Abatement Director Chuck Palmisano said it's mostly because, "The populations are not that high right now. They're relatively low. But light traps indicated an increase in certain areas across the parish so we did conduct an aerial operation Tuesday night in south Slidell and also Lacombe. Tonight, we're going to go aerially in the Mandeville area."
Ground and preventative efforts haven't missed a beat though, and as the bug-riddled summer months creep closer, leaders have a plan to keep the aerial attack active.
"We're going to utilize this plane as much as we can, also, we've been talking with a couple of aerial spray contractors, looking to maybe engage their service at least until the time we get another airplane and put it in service," said Palmisano.
Even though Mosquito Control says its operation is on track, they still need the public to do their part.
Palmisano said, "Encouragement to survey your yards, see if you might have artificial things breeding mosquitos and if you're in a really mosquito prone area, use repellent."
The operations plan has Parr looking forward to fewer bite-filled afternoons outdoors.
Mosquito Control hopes to have its replacement plan purchased and in operation by the Fall.