Remember those quarter-sized blood-sucking mosquitoes scientists were warning Florida about earlier this year. They’ve arrived.
Gallinippers, (officially known as psorophora ciliate), are roughly the size of a quarter and weigh more than 20 times your normal mosquito. The “notoriously aggressive” species can pack a painful bite and, according to one mosquito-control director, they can feel like “a small bird has landed on you.”
Unfortunately, it appears that these monster mosquitoes have been given a nice boost by Tropical Storm Andrea, which recently drenched the region and provided perfect conditions for hatchings.
And while the hype will have you believe this species of mosquito is new, they’ve actually always been around. It’s just that the conditions recently have ramped up their numbers.
“These “giant” mosquitoes are not invading Florida; Psorophora ciliata is a native species that inhabits much of the eastern U.S.,” writes one commenter on ClickOrlando. “They’ve been in Florida (and many other states) all along. But Psorophora ciliata is what is known as a floodwater mosquito. Psorophora ciliata eggs can survive desiccation, and remain dormant for years. Standing water left by heavy rains can, in effect, reanimate Psorophora ciliata eggs in the soil, unleashing a new generation of mosquitoes, including females thirsty for blood.”
Luckily, these giant suckers don’t carry any known viruses – so Florida, you catch a break there. At least until the Giant African Land Snails arrive and the Crazy Ants throw a party in your living room. Then, it’s time to leave.