During a natural disaster like a hurricane or flood, mosquitoes are probably the last thing on people’s minds, and with good reason. But in the days and weeks following such a disaster, mosquito numbers often increase dramatically, which can have a negative effect on relief efforts.
Fortunately, the mosquitoes that result from flooding usually don’t transmit diseases and can be effectively controlled by adhering to a few simple guidelines.
Mosquitoes and Hurricanes
Mosquitoes are weak flyers, so adults generally don’t survive the high winds that occur during hurricanes. However, the flooding that often follows hurricanes causes mosquito eggs laid in the soil by floodwater mosquitoes during previous floods to hatch.
This results in very large populations of floodwater mosquitoes following a hurricane. Most floodwater mosquitoes are considered nuisance mosquitoes, which means they rarely carry diseases that make people sick. This is why areas that have just experienced flooding usually experience an uptick in mosquito numbers, while the incidence of mosquito-borne diseases stays roughly the same.
After a hurricane or flood, people spend more time outside cleaning up, so bites by nuisance mosquitoes are increasingly common. And although nuisance mosquitoes rarely spread disease, they are still aggressive biters.
How to Protect Yourself Against Mosquitoes After a Hurricane
Use Insect Repellant. The following insect repellants are EPA registered, and have been proven safe and effective:
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
- Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants. You can also treat your clothing with 0.5% permethrin, for added protection. Permethrin should not be applied directly to the skin.
Take steps to control mosquitoes inside and outside.
- Use screens on doors and windows, and repair holes in them to keep mosquitoes at bay.
- If outside, a simple electric fan can help keep mosquitoes away, as they are very weak flyers.
- Stop mosquitoes from laying eggs in water by emptying items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, and trash containers. Do this about once a week.
Mosquito treatment is a quick and easy way to eliminate mosquitoes on your property. Local government mosquito control programs monitor for mosquito-borne diseases. After weather events, they can provide outdoor mosquito treatments. They will not service your private property. At MissQuito, we work with local mosquito abatement programs by providing targeted treatments to your property.
At MissQuito, our all-female team of trained experts targets mosquitos throughout their entire lifecycle using a variety of eco-friendly repellants.