How to Deal with Mosquitos After Recent Hurricane Season

How to Deal with Mosquitos After Recent Hurricane Season

November 09, 2017

Ways to Get Rid of Mosquitoes After a Hurricane

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.

  • Get rid of standing water. Mosquitoes can't breed without water. While you can't do anything about ponds, streams and marshes, you can certainly do something about standing water in your neighborhood. Every type of container capable of holding two teaspoons of water is a potential breeding spot. If you're passionate about preventing itchy mosquito bites and the spread of disease, look for standing water in every nook and cranny of your yard and property. When you spot a source of stagnant water, dump it out immediately. Repeat once a week for as long as necessary.

    Sources of standing water can include:
    • Birdbaths
    • Bowls
    • Buckets
    • Cups
    • Discarded bottles
    • Discarded cans
    • Empty flowerpots and vases
    • Fountains
    • Pet dishes
    • Plastic food containers
    • Portable swimming pools
    • Potted plant saucers
    • Rain barrels
    • Rain gutters
    • Tires
    • Toys
  • Cover containers. You may not be able to dump all sources of standing water. In these cases, make sure containers are tightly covered with lids. Alternatively, cover the tops of containers with mosquito-proof fine mesh.
  • Check septic systems. Check your septic system for gaps and cracks that may allow mosquitoes entry. Make repairs to prevent egg laying inside.


How to Stop Mosquitoes from Getting Inside

Prevent mosquitoes from invading your indoor space by following these tips:

  1. Keep all doors and windows shut, and don't keep windows propped open without screens.
  2. Repair cracks and gaps around doors and windows. Repair holes in screens.
  3. Install fine mesh screens on doors and windows.
  4. Run your air conditioner, but keep it clear of condensation and puddles.

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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