Torrential rains and abnormally warm weather have spurred a mosquito infestation that has terrorized the Voronezh region in southwest Russia.

Photos and video show the bloodsucking insects swarming yards, coating cars and surrounding homes.

This report from the Russian media company RT is reminiscent of the Alfred Hitchcock horror movie “The Birds”:

People are suffering from itchy bites and swelling and say that it’s impossible to leave their homes. Children are refusing to go to school as they are immediately eaten alive by the insects. Even at home people find scant refuge, as the tiny menaces manage to crawl through any crack they can find. Outside is far worse, as roads cannot even be seen through mosquito hordes, according to local media.

Vestivrn, another Russian news organization, said (translated from Russian) that their numbers were  “unprecedented” and that the insects had “eaten several pigs” that died as a result, although one official was skeptical that mosquitoes were the cause.

The mosquito siege began around May 6 “with the volume of insects attributed to the recent flooding of local rivers,” reported the Epoch Times. Temperatures have also been much higher than normal. Mosquitoes thrive in warm, wet environments.


Temperature difference from normal over western Russia, May 13-19. (National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center)

Meanwhile, across the Bering Sea, Alaska’s KTVA reported the season’s first swarm was spotted near Fairbanks about 10 days ago. In Alaska, mosquitoes grow so large that locals refer to them as “the state bird”:

As climate change makes the air more warm and humid, the mosquito season is predicted to lengthen while their habitats expand in some parts of the world. A study published in 2015 found that if the Arctic temperature rises 2 degrees Celsius, juvenile mosquitoes would have a 53 percent improved chance of reaching adulthood.