Nuisance mosquitoes are the first to appear after a flood, including floodwater mosquitoes whose eggs can remain dormant for months or years in the soil until contact with floodwaters causes them to hatch. |
Flooding and heavy rainfall can create temporary bodies of standing water that are ideal breeding sites for mosquitoes. These include rain pools, roadside puddles, drainage ditches, inundated flood plains and even water-filled tire tracks or hoof prints. Some mosquitoes will appear within a week of flooding, however most require 2-3 weeks for eggs to hatch and adult mosquitoes to emerge. Mosquitoes cannot successfully breed in floodwater that dries up within a few days or in flowing water such as streams or moving floodwaters.
How much effort toward mosquito control is practical in the aftermath of the flood? Eliminating mosquito breeding sites is always desirable and is usually accomplished by filling or draining standing water sources. However, with such an over abundance of breeding sites, it may not be possible to eliminate enough standing water to make a difference in the mosquito population, especially in the next week when other, higher priority activities are commanding the attention of city officials and homeowners impacted by the flood. And because mosquitoes can migrate several miles after they emerge from their breeding site, a wide area puddle elimination project would be required.
Flooding per se, does not lead to mosquitoes. It is the water that stands AFTER the flooding that creates opportunities for mosquitoes to breed. Mosquito larvae require standing, stagnant water in which to feed and grow (mosquito larvae do not live in running water). It takes 7 to 10 days of standing water for the mosquitoes to develop, which is why we see mosquitoes after the flood rather than during. With receding flood waters and drier conditions the mosquito problem will increase in many areas.
Long standing water is where mosquitoes love to place their eggs which only take about a week and a half to turn into tiny little blood sucking pests.The waters left behind, including riverbeds, swollen creeks, road ditches, water filled remnants of storm debris, and damaged building materials can all become a perfect refuge for mosquitoes to populate.
The first step is getting any debris cleaned that may fall prey to breeding mosquitoes, this could be fallen trees, strewn shingles, and trash, just to name a few. Ensuring all areas of you home, even if they are damaged are boarded up, secured or repaired as soon as feasible to keep mosquitoes from entering the home. Have your property treated by a licensed professional to kill the mosquitoes which are present and prevents and controls any further infestation.
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