Animals in the French Quarter

This tour examines the significant ways in which animals have affected the lives of New Orleanians. Within the confines of the French Quarter, rats, mules, mosquitoes, termites, and other critters cohabitate with the human residents.

Wharf Rats, the Plague, and Public Health

New Orleans has been a major port since the early 18th century. Until the 1960's, warehouses stood along this part of the river. These warehouses, or wharves, used to teem with the infamous "wharf rats" that infested the area's…

Mules and Modernization

Facing Jackson Square, one should see a line of mules and their drivers ready to take visitors on a trip around the French Quarter. Now a tourist attraction, these animals played a vital role for New Orleans before the advent of motorized vehicles.…

Mosquitoes and Yellow Fever

As you stand in front of the fountain in Jackson Square or walk through the French Quarter peering into courtyards and hearing the faint trickle and splash of a fountain, think about the bugs that these water features attract. Mosquitoes have been…

Termites and Historic Preservation

While termites have lived and thrived in the world for over two hundred million years, the truly destructive subterranean Formosan termites did not arrive in New Orleans until after World War II, probably on a ship traveling from Asia. Formosan…