Mosquitoes After a Storm
Effects of Mosquito Populations From Flooding
Flooding can be one of the most devastating components of a storm. Inch after inch of rainwater can be deposited quickly. These flooding waters fill numerous ditches, depressions, artificial containers and other water holding areas across the landscape. Also, wind-blown tidal waters can be pushed to high levels bringing flooding waters to areas that are normally dry. These elevated water levels provide the essential element for mosquitoes to complete their life cycle and can suddenly lead to heavy populations of them.
So Many Mosquitoes in Such a Short Time Period
Many species of mosquitoes deposit their eggs in mud at the reaches of ditches, depressions, artificial containers and other mosquito breeding areas. They lay these eggs here in anticipation of an eventual high water event that will bring the essential ingredient to the eggs: WATER. These eggs can remain viable for many years after they are laid. This is why a storm producing high levels of rain water can quickly elevate mosquito levels.
Reasons for Being Concerned With Mosquitoes
As we know, mosquitoes can be a substantial nuisance, especially during recovery efforts. More importantly, they have the potential to spread diseases such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus. The possibility of one of these viruses to vector to the human population can increase substantially with elevations in the mosquito population which occurs with flooding. This is why we should be concerned with mosquitoes and should take action to control as many as possible.
Helping Alleviate the Mosquito Problem
After the store has passed, it will take time for clean-up efforts to begin. There likely will be debris scattered that needs to be cleaned up. While this clean-up is ongoing, every attempt at removing mosquito breeding sites around the home should be made. Look for any water that has accumulated in artificial containers all around the household. Any standing water should be removed from these as soon as possible. Clean any debris that may be blocking the flow and drainage of ditches and low lying areas. Mosquito control briquettes such as those found in hardware stores can be placed in standing water to help control larval mosquitoes.
Protecting Yourself From Mosquito Bites
Personal protection from mosquito bites will be important as clean-up activities continue. Repair any damaged screens to keep mosquitoes out of the household. If high levels of adult mosquito are encountered, wear protective clothing that prevents you from getting mosquito bites. Apply repellents to prevent bites. Always use repellents with care and follow the labels, especially when applying to children.
Common Mosquito Breeding Areas
- Roof gutters
- Water features
- Uncovered boats
- Potted plants
- Bird baths
- Dripping spigots
- Puddles – natural or under A/C units
- Neglected pools/hot tubs
- Drainage ditches
- Items in recycle bins