Hurricane Irene Flooding Likely to Spawn Increased Mosquito Populations in Affected States

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

As residents up and down the Eastern seaboard continue to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, a sinister pest lurks in the floodwaters. The flooding that resulted from Irene's torrential rains has provided the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Because of the fast life cycle of mosquitoes, developing from egg to adult in 10 to 14 days, residents in states affected by the Hurricane should start seeing an influx in about a week. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is advising residents to be on the lookout for increased mosquito activity and to protect themselves from this disease-carrying pest.

"Flooding contributes to a rise in mosquito populations as water tends to end up in a variety of areas that typically remain out of sight, allowing mosquito eggs to develop and hatch uninterrupted," noted Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. "These areas of stagnant water produce larger numbers of mosquitoes that would have otherwise been eliminated through monitoring, municipal treatments and natural methods."

"Mosquito season typically lasts through October and Hurricane Irene has upped the ante. We're reminding people not to let their guard down and to continue their summer mosquito prevention in the wake of the flooding produced by Hurricane Irene," added Henriksen.

NPMA offers these mosquito prevention tips:

  • Eliminate standing water in or around the home. Mosquitoes need only about ½ inch of water to breed.
  • Keep windows and doors properly screened. Repair the smallest tear or hole.
  • Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • If you spend time outdoors during peak mosquito times, avoid wearing shorts or short-sleeved apparel, dark colors, loose-fitting garments, and open-toe shoes. Be sure to use an insect repellant containing DEET.
  • If you are concerned about mosquito activity on your property, contact a pest management company or your local mosquito abatement district.

For more information on mosquitoes or to find a pest professional, visit www.pestworld.org

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property. 

###