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CONTROLLING MOSQUITOES AFTER STORMS

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standing water in ditches and other  low lying areas are breeding grounds for mosquitoes Depending upon the time of year and where you live in North Carolina, mosquito problems following storms may range from minor to severe. Late in the fall, mosquitoes go into diapause (hibernation) and become less of a problem, particularly in western North Carolina. Heavy rains and storm damage provide attractive breeding sites for species of mosquitoes that remain active until late fall. Mosquito populations may decline at first as heavy rains and flooding can actually flush mosquito larvae out of many breeding sites. However, you can expect mosquito populations to show a significant increase in about 7-10 days depending upon local temperatures. Holes in the soil left by uprooted trees,as well as tire ruts and soil erosion caused by vehicles and heavy equipment will fill quickly with water that can stagnate over days. If the weather stays clear, then many of these temporary water sources should dry up and reduce some mosquito problems. However, widespread flooding may create more persistent pockets of stagnant water which are likely to become mosquito breeding grounds. As you begin cleaning up around your property, you should take time to do the following:

  stagnant water in pot left outside
  • Overturn or empty objects that have collected stormwater.
  • Clear gutters and downspouts of debris so that rainwater drains properly.
  • Remove water that collects on sagging tarpaulins or other covers on your house or property.
  • Clear silt and storm debris from drainage ditches and storm drains so that water will flow and not stagnate.
  • Fill in holes left by uprooted trees, vehicles or heavy equipment.
  • Larger water-filled objects, such as swimming pools that become stagnant from lack of maintenance can be treated with an insecticide containing the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) which does not pose a hazard to animals.


  • Truck-mounted fogger treating for mosquitoes In drier areas of the yard, spraying the shrubs where mosquitoes might be resting will reduce the mosquito population somewhat, but it is not likely to have a significant overall impact, particularly if your neighbors do not take any corrective action. Some mosquitoes can fly one-quarter mile or more in search of bloodmeals while other species more typically travel a few 100 yards or less. Mosquito control or abatement has to be a community effort in order to be successful. If your community has severe mosquito populations, contact your municipal government or local Health Department to find out if any area-wide spraying has been planned.
  • Personal protection is the best recourse. Staying indoors is one way to avoid mosquitoes, although this is usually not possible or practical if you are active in cleanup and repair efforts. Wearing longsleeved shirts and long pants can also help (although this may be uncomfortable). Chemical repellents, such as products containing Deet, are still the best option for personal protection outdoors. Children and pregnant women should use small amounts (and the lowest concentrations) of these repellents.


Additional information about: mosquitoes and insect repellents.




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