The rise of unusually large and aggressive mosquitoes sounds like the perfect plot to a horror/science fiction movie.
Unfortunately, this is real, and it's happening now.
Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm, raged towards North Carolina, resulting in 11 reported deaths and causing approximately $18 billion in damages.
It wasn't only people's homes that were destroyed, the storm waters also caused a mountain of toxic coal ash to be washed away, potentially contaminating tap water.
Waste pits at industrial hog farms, which hold tons of manure, are also at risk of getting into the clean water system.
This could jeopardize the lives of citizens, making them at risk of developing all sorts of health issues, such as kidney, stomach, and skin infections.
And while everyone's scrambling to get their lives back in order, there's another concern that has the state's governor speaking out...
North Carolina State University entomology professor Michael Reiskind told The Fayetteville Observer that the hurricane's floodwaters have caused a rise in mosquito populations.
"To help local communities in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, I’ve directed state funds for mosquito control efforts to protect people who live in hard-hit areas," Governor Roy Cooper said, allocating $4 million to fund mosquito control efforts in 27 counties.
The scary part is that these mosquitoes are said to be three times larger than regular mosquitoes.
The eggs of gallinippers, a species of mosquito that are known for their painful bite, hatch after heavy rains.
These are just one of 61 mosquito species wreaking havoc on many counties.
"When the flood comes, we get many, many billions of them," Reiskind said.
That being said, these mosquitoes are believed to be more of a nuisance than deadly.
The most commonly reported mosquito-borne illnesses in North Carolina is believed to be LaCrosse encephalitis, West Nile virus, and Eastern equine encephalitis.
Health officials are recommending citizens to wear long-sleeved pants and shirts and use effective mosquito repellent while outdoors.