As if our fellow Americans in Texas and Florida haven't had enough to worry about with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma respectively, the aftermath of these natural disasters has brought epic numbers of mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes breed in standing water -- just a bottle cap full of water is all they need to breed and multiply. The remaining floodwaters throughout these areas offer much fertile ground for the little bloodsuckers to lay their eggs.
It's gotten so bad in Texas that the Air Force has been brought in to spray insecticides to protect the cleanup crews from mosquito bites.
If you're in these areas, it's important that you and your neighbors do what you can to reduce the number of potential breeding sites:
- Drain as much water as you can from around your house.
- Cover anything that can hold water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding -- including pool covers, wading pools, old tires, garbage cans, recycling bins, flower pots, bird baths and roof gutters.
- Any drainage ditches that have become clogged with debris should be cleaned out so that water can flow freely.
- Keep bushes and grass trimmed and clear of overgrowth.
Because the removal of standing water will take longer in some areas, here are some extra steps you can take to protect yourself:
- Shut doors and cover windows with screens – if any screens have tears or rips, repair them.
- Use a long-lasting mosquito repellent whenever you’re outdoors.
- Wear long sleeves and pants to cover your skin.
- Avoid time outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.