There are two types of water events that cause an explosion of mosquitoes right after a hurricane: floodwater and standing water.
Floodwaters and Mosquitoes
There are numerous variations 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.
Standing Water and Mosquitoes
Once the hurricane fades, flood waters recede slowly and any empty container or vessel serves as an ideal breeding place for mosquitoes. These insects can lay eggs in as little as two teaspoons of water, and a single female can lay up to 200 eggs. When whole neighborhoods are flooded, the number of mosquitoes created in standing water are staggering.
Are You at Greater Risk of Disease?
The fast-paced growth of mosquito populations after major storms may lead to a greater risk of a serious disease outbreak. Fortunately, this risk remains rather small because most mosquitoes are not infected with West Nile virus, Zika or other diseases. Still, with so many species flying around humans, you don't want you and your family to be among those who do catch a disease directly from a bite.
Communities understand these risks, and are vigilant about testing mosquito populations for disease. County health officials usually alert communities to step up mosquito eradication measures once disease is detected. Pay close attention to any alerts during the 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 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 include:
- Discarded bottles
- Discarded cans
- Empty flowerpots and vases
- Pet dishes
- Plastic food containers
- Portable swimming pools
- Potted plant saucers
- Rain barrels
- Rain gutters
Cover containers. It may not be possible 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.
How to Stop Mosquitoes from Getting Inside
Prevent mosquitoes from invading your indoor space by following these tips.
- Keep all doors and windows shut, and don't keep windows propped open without screens.
- Repair cracks and gaps around doors and windows. Repair holes in screens.
- Install fine mesh screens on doors and windows.
- Run your air conditioner, but keep it clear of condensation and puddles.
Stopping Mosquito Bites
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-sleeve 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 foggers and misters operate 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.