How to control mosquitoes after a hurricane

How to control mosquitoes after a hurricane

Ahhh August…incredibly hot, incredibly humid and the most active month of the year for hurricanes. It won’t be long until the kids go back to school and just a few more months before the weather cools, but for now we are in the thick of things.

truck driving in floodHurricane season is a stressful time here at Mosquito Joe. Obviously, it is a stressful time for everyone as we worry about damage to property and flooding impacts in the area and to our property. However, we have some additional stressors that can impact us at the office. We don’t treat when it is raining, so weather this time of year can really impact our ability to keep everyone on track. Beyond that, the results of the rains and flooding has a massive impact on the mosquito population. Water washes into properties we treat, bringing with it mosquito eggs that begin a whole new life cycle in a yard where we recently had control. The quantity of rain itself will increase the population of mosquitoes tenfold. All the water left behind will continue to increase this population if we don’t take action.

flooded benchWe all have a plan in place in the case of a weather disaster. Many of us have a stock of beans and rice, a battery powered radio, a collection of water bottles, etc. And while we all head out to help neighbors remove fallen trees or assist stranded cars, we don’t often think of the impact of the weather on mosquitoes.  From a health standpoint, controlling the mosquito population is important.  The county will often send out trucks to spray and reduce the numbers, but since this spray is only done on the streets, hitting some of the culverts, it won’t impact what is going on in your backyard.

We would like to suggest that you also implement a simple, but important, mosquito reduction plan after the weather that will make a huge difference in your backyard:

  1. Clear out your gutters – any debris that has fallen in will mean water will get trapped up there, breeding mosquitoes for you.
  2. Rake up fallen leaves and pine needles. They act to keep the ground wet and prevent everything from drying out.
  3. Along the same lines, as soon as you are able, mow the yard. This again will help dry out the ground and rid you of standing water.
  4. Empty out every container in the yard of water. Just a teaspoon (a capful from a bottle of water) will breed 300 mosquitoes every few days, so even the small amounts you might not notice (saucers under plant pots) will increase the population. Turn pots and containers upside down, remove kids’ toys (it’s amazing how much water they hold after a rain), and make sure you are not missing those small places that mosquitoes won’t. Don’t forget any tarps in the yard either!

blowing palm treeIt doesn’t sound like much, but the impact of these 4 steps can reduce your mosquito population substantially and really make things more manageable in your yard.  We highly encourage everyone to make this plan a part of your “post storm” routine.