Other than the city’s own museum dedicated to them, there’s not much good to say about the insects that have literally plagued New Orleans for centuries.
Mosquitos have, by far, been the deadliest insects. With large amounts of rain, swamps and humidity, the city and the surrounding areas are an ideal habitat for the blood-sucking and disease-spreading fiends.
Between 1817 and 1905 mosquito-borne yellow fever killed more than 41,000 people.
After yellow fever was linked to mosquitoes in 1905, the city started a massive eradication program that resulted in no human cases of yellow fever in the city after 1905.
While the eradication program continues, mosquito borne diseases including encephalitis and zika are still a constant threat.
New Orleans is also an ideal breeding ground for Formosan termites, which don’t kill, but do destroy homes. The subterranean termites were introduced from the South Pacific in the 1940s and 1950s through cargo returning from World War II.
The termites need water and wood, which New Orleans has in abundance. Though new methods have been used to detect and eradicate their nests, New Orleanians live in a state of vigilance against the home wreckers.
Stinging buck moth caterpillars, fire-ants and roaches are just a few of the other omnipresent pests in the Crescent City.