Large populations of mosquitoes can emerge days to weeks after heavy rains or flooding. Areas of standing water can also increase the number of mosquitoes. Most are ‘nuisance’ mosquitoes, but some can carry viruses that may cause illnesses such as La Crosse encephalitis, West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis.
The types of mosquitoes that can spread viruses may increase from two weeks up to two months after a hurricane, especially in areas that did not flood but received more rainfall than usual.
To protect yourself from mosquito bites and vector-borne diseases:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors.
- Use mosquito repellent that contains DEET or an equivalent when outside and use caution when applying to children.
- Dress children in clothing that covers their arms and legs.
- Cover cribs, strollers and baby carriers with mosquito netting.
- Reapply insect repellent as directed; If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
- Install or repair screens on windows and doors, and use air conditioning if possible.
- Protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites: Learn more from the CDC.