One of the side effects of excessive rainfall is that the standing waters provide the perfect opportunity for the development of annoying and disease vectoring mosquitoes. “Excessive moisture and flooding help create optimal conditions in which mosquitoes can breed," said Dr. Mark Johnsen, a medical entomologist with the AgriLife Extension agricultural and environmental safety unit in College Station.
“And having good information on mosquito behavior and control can help reduce both their nuisance factor and the threat of disease transmission," he said.
The best way to combat mosquitoes after flooding is by applying the “four Ds” of personal protection—DEET, dusk/dawn, dress and drain—according to Johnsen.
The first D refers to using a mosquito repellent with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535, he said. The second D means restricting activity at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
The third refers to dressing in loose-fitting, light-colored, long-sleeve shirts or blouses, and long pants. And the fourth D is in reference to draining standing water from bottles, cups, unused plant pots, tires and other receptacles that might provide a mosquito breeding site.
Johnsen said materials covering the four Ds and other information on mosquitoes and mosquito control are available in English and Spanish and can be downloaded free from two AgriLife Extension websites.
The AgriLife Extension publication, “Potential Mosquito Problems after a Hurricane,” is available for free download at the Agricultural and Environmental Safety website, http://www-aes.tamu.edu, as are the other free publications “Mosquito Life Cycle” and “The Best Way to Control Mosquitoes.”
More information is available in the AgriLife Extension publication, “Mosquito Problems after a Storm,” from the AgriLife Extension Bookstore at http://agrilifebookstore.org. The publication number for the English-language version is ER-042, and the number for the Spanish-language version is ER-042S.