Mosquitoes and Flooding From Hurricane Ian
The lingering impacts of Hurricane Ian have left Southwest Florida struggling; including disease-carrying mosquitoes which are now blanketing the region. Unfortunately, this is adding another layer of public safety concern to our area already experiencing health challenges from the hurricane.
With storm surge of more than 15 feet in some areas and more than 1 foot of rain in others, the landscape is soggy and extremely saturated, making this the perfect condition for spreading West Nile and Dengue fever.
Eric Jackson, spokesman for the Lee County Mosquito Control District states, “They (mosquitoes) are really everywhere. We have pilots in the air and we’re going to get every single spot.”
Fortunately, with most people gaining power again, they are able to close their windows, keeping these menaces out.
In reality, most of the mosquitoes are just pests; however, some freshwater species are in the area and capable of transmitting potentially deadly diseases to humans.
The best advice from the Lee County Mosquito Control is to cover up and wear repellants when outside.
“We’ve really stepped up the adulticide…we’ll have planes out to get the county covered to help people,” Jackson said. “And then we’ll focus on larvicide.”
Symptoms of Extreme Mosquito Bites
About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever with West Nile virus experiencing symptoms such as headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can linger for weeks or months.
Symptom of Dengue fever include eye pain, headache, muscle and bone pain, rash, and nausea. Symptoms typically last 2–7 days with most people recovering after about a week.
Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites
Below are a few suggestions to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
-Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
– Apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
– Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone.
– Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
-Treat clothing and gear with 0.5% permethrin.
Control Mosquitoes Inside and Outside Your Home
Once flooding recedes, homeowners can follow a few tips to prevent mosquitoes from gathering at your Cape Coral or Fort Myers home.
– Remove standing water where mosquitoes could lay eggs.
– Check for containers that collect water both indoors and outdoors. Empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, tarps, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers.
– Use screens on windows and doors.
-Repair holes in screens to keep mosquitoes outdoors.
-Do not leave doors, including garage doors, propped open.
-Use air conditioning when possible.
When you are ready to control mosquitoes in your yard, give us a call. We are here for you to help keep you safe and comfortable while we all work to rebuild our community.
Sources: CDC and The News Press