Storm-battered North Carolinians are facing a new plague — millions of hungry mosquitoes, with some invading buggers three times the size of more common species.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water — of which there is now plenty in the Tar Heel State — thanks to flooding caused by Hurricane Florence, which dumped more than 30 inches of rain on the region.

“It’s like “a bad science fiction movie,” Robert Phillips told the Fayetteville Observer. “They were inundating me, and one landed on me. It was like a small blackbird. I told my wife, ‘Gosh, look at the size of this thing.’ I told her that I guess I’m going to have to use a shotgun on these things if they get any bigger.”

Cassie Vadovsky, brought her four-year-olds home to find a swarm of the blood-thirsty, zebra-striped pests ready to attack.

“It was like a flurry — like it was snowing mosquitoes,” the stay-at-home mother of two said. “I think my car agitated them. I waited for them to calm down before I grabbed the kids and then ran into the house.”

She posted a video of the swarm on Facebook that’s received 128,000 views.

In it, her daughter wonders: “Why are you doing that — taking pictures of the wasps?” Vadovsky responds, “They’re not wasps. They’re mosquitoes.”

The ones Vadovsky filmed are called “Gallinippers,” or “Psorophora ciliata,” according to entomologist Michael Waldvogel of North Carolina State, which can be three times as large as other, more common species.

“I’m not even on the side of town that had the major flooding.” Vadovsky said. “Imagine how bad it could be over on that end.”

Michael Reiskind, an entomologist and associate professor at North Carolina State University said the giant pests can bite through two layers of clothing.

He did a test in Raleigh, the state’s capital, before the storm and counted three mosquitoes in five minutes. A week later, there were eight in the same time. Two weeks later, there were 50. “And our area didn’t get hit the hardest,” Reinskind told USA Today.

Still, he offered: “People shouldn’t worry too much, a big mosquito is no more dangerous than a little one. They aren’t radioactive or genetically modified or some exotic species, this is just what happens after a hurricane hits.”

As the state waits for some cold weather to wipe the plague out for the winter, Gov. Roy Cooper ordered $4 million in control efforts to help counties hit by the storm.

“FEMA provides reimbursement for local agencies to spray for mosquitos. So, it is possible for a county health department to do aerial spraying but not every county does it,” Reiskind said.

The types of mosquitoes seen in North Carolina can carry West Nile Virus and encephalitis, but are not likely to spread Zika or malaria.

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