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Mosquitoes & Hurricanes

What You Need to Know

  • Adult mosquitoes do not generally survive high winds during a hurricane.
  • Immediately following a hurricane, flooding occurs. Mosquito eggs laid in the soil by floodwater mosquitoes during previous floods hatch. This results in very large populations of floodwater mosquitoes. Most of these mosquitoes are considered nuisance mosquitoes.
  • In general, nuisance mosquitoes do not spread viruses that make people sick. The types of mosquitoes that can spread viruses may increase 2 weeks to 2 months after a hurricane, especially in areas that did not flood but received more rainfall than usual.
  • Because people spend more time outside cleaning up after a hurricane or flood, they are more likely to be bitten by nuisance mosquitoes.
  • Large numbers of nuisance mosquitoes can affect recovery efforts. For this reason, local or state mosquito control experts will often take steps to control these mosquitoes.
  • Although flooding caused by hurricanes can be severe and an increase in mosquito populations is expected in the coming weeks, CDC does not expect to see an increase in the number of people getting sick from diseases spread by mosquitoes, but will work closely with state and local health officials to monitor the situation.

Protect Yourself and Your Family from Mosquito Bites

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • 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.
    • See EPA’s search tool here.
    • Always follow the product label instructions.
    • Reapply insect repellent as directed.
    • Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
    • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
    • Prevent mosquito bites

Take Steps to Control Mosquitoes Inside and Outside Your Home

  • After a hurricane or flood, the health department or mosquito control district will often take steps to reduce the mosquito population.
  • Residents can take steps to help control mosquitoes in and around their homes to prevent mosquito bites.
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