Americans living in communities impacted by hurricane season are used to hearing predictions about the impending risk to life and property from swirling winds and flooding. By the time the big storm hits, most people are hunkered down in homes or shelters, determined to ride it out as best they can. Mosquitoes are the last thing on everyone's mind during these knuckle-gripping hours, but the impending arrival of mosquito swarms is just as inevitable as storm surges.
Why are there more mosquitoes after a hurricane? Because mosquitoes love damp conditions, and the excess moisture and flooding create the perfect breeding environment for them. If you want to avoid being covered head-to-toe in mosquito bites, be ready and willing to take mosquito control measures to help protect yourself and your family.
Floodwaters and Mosquitoes
There are two types of water events that cause an explosion of mosquitoes right after a hurricane: floodwater and standing water. Let’s start by discussing the relationship between floodwater and mosquitoes.
There are numerous types of mosquitoes, and some of them prefer laying eggs in moist soil. Before the hurricane hits, there could be thousands of eggs scattered around marshes and ponds. When a rush of storm water surges over these eggs, they finish developing quickly and hatch. That’s because when mosquito eggs are exposed to water, it can trigger the larvae to come out.
Standing Water and Mosquitoes
Once the hurricane fades, floodwaters recede slowly. In addition, any container or vessel that gets water inside it - either from the flooding or the hard rains - can serve as an ideal breeding place for mosquitoes. And just as mosquitoes sometimes lay eggs in damp soil, they also often lay eggs directly in or near standing water.
Mosquitoes can lay eggs in as little as two teaspoons of water; a single female can lay up to 200 eggs at a time. As a result, when whole neighborhoods are flooded, the number of mosquitoes laid and hatched in areas of standing water can be staggering.
Are You at Greater Risk of Mosquito-Borne Diseases After Hurricanes?
The fast-paced growth of mosquito populations in the days and weeks after major storms may lead to a greater risk of a serious disease outbreak. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “the types of mosquitoes that can spread viruses may increase two weeks after a hurricane, especially in areas that did not flood but received more rainfall than usual.”
Fortunately, this risk remains small because most mosquitoes are not infected with West Nile virus, Zika or other diseases. Still, with so many species of mosquitoes flying around humans, you don't want you and your family to be among those who do catch a disease directly from a mosquito bite. (Especially since mosquito-borne illnesses are always changing and evolving, including showing up in places they don’t usually appear.) In addition, if you or a family member has a mosquito bite allergy, like skeeter syndrome, you know how important it can be to avoid being bitten.
Most communities are appropriately vigilant about testing mosquito populations for disease. County health officials usually alert communities to step up mosquito eradication measures once the disease is detected. Pay close attention to any alerts your local health department issues during the hurricane recovery period.
How to Stop Mosquito Breeding
Hurricane recovery is no picnic, but while you're helping with cleanup efforts, you can also do some easy things to stop the mosquito menace.
How to Stop Mosquitoes from Getting Inside
Prevent mosquitoes from invading your indoor space by following these tips:
Mosquito Bite Prevention
Sometimes, there's no way to avoid mosquitoes after a hurricane, but you can stop them from covering you with bites. Generously apply mosquito repellent onto your exposed skin before going outdoors. Double up on this protection by wearing comfortable long-sleeved shirts and long pants that cover your ankles. Instead of sandals, put on shoes that completely cover your feet.
Professional Help and Mosquito Removal
Dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane can be an emotionally trying time. You may be too busy or frazzled to take on a battle against flying insects. The MosquitoNix®® team is always here for you, and our certified pest control experts are ready to help. We can treat your property with our formulations that wipe out these bloodsucking predators quickly and efficiently.
Alternatively, our portable MosquitoNix® On the Go Portable Misting System operates automatically to disperse insecticide where it's needed most. Our top system includes a remote control that lets you start and stop dispersal with the click of a button. Contact us now for a free and friendly mosquito removal consultation.
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