Mosquito Management After a Hurricane
What You Need to Know
- Adult mosquitoes do not generally survive high winds during a hurricane.
- Immediately following a hurricane, flooding occurs. Mosquito eggs laid in the soil by floodwater mosquitoes during previous floods hatch. This results in very large populations of floodwater mosquitoes. Most of these mosquitoes are considered nuisance mosquitoes.
- In general, nuisance mosquitoes do not spread viruses that make people sick. The types of mosquitoes that can spread viruses may increase 2 weeks to 2 months after a hurricane, especially in areas that did not flood but received more rainfall than usual.
- In areas with Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and local spread of Zika, chikungunya, or dengue, increased rainfall may result in increased hatching of Ae. aegypti eggs from water-holding containers. People may be at more risk of getting infected with these viruses, and they should take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
- Because people spend more time outside cleaning up after a hurricane or flood, they are more likely to be bitten by nuisance mosquitoes.
- Large numbers of nuisance mosquitoes can affect recovery efforts. For this reason, local or state mosquito control experts will often take steps to control these mosquitoes.
- Flooding caused by hurricanes can be severe, and an increase in mosquito populations is expected in the weeks after flooding. An increase in the number of people getting sick from diseases spread by mosquitoes is not expected after flooding.
- The CDC works closely with state and local health officials to monitor the flooding situation.
Protect Yourself and Your Family from Mosquito Bites
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-methane-diol, or 2-undecanone.
- Always follow the product label instructions.
- Reapply insect repellent as directed.
- Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
- If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
- Prevent mosquito bites
Take Steps to Control Mosquitoes Inside and Outside Your Home
- After a hurricane or flood, the health department or mosquito control district will often take steps to reduce the mosquito population.
- Residents can take steps to help control mosquitoes in and around their homes to prevent mosquito bites.
- Remove standing water where mosquitoes could lay eggs. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers. Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.
- Keep mosquitoes outside
For more information on Mosquito control and the diseases they carry, please visit the CDC's page on mosquitos.