Mosquitoes are said to cause more deaths worldwide than any other insect or animal, on an annual basis. Thus you MUST control getting bit by them not only after a disaster, but at any time of the year.
Here in Louisiana, as in other states, there is a problem with the spread of “West Nile Virus”, which is spread when mosquitoes bite you.
Because hurricanes bring lots of rain, there is a lot of standing water after one passes. Mosquitoes breed in any standing water.
The first thing people use to defeat mosquitoes is mosquito repellant. The most effective mosquito repellant is one that contains a chemical called “Deet”. The problem with mosquito repellant is that after a disaster which is long term such as after Hurricane Katrina, there was not a lot of clean water to take a shower with. Most water was kept for drinking and cooking. If you have ever used mosquito repellant with “Deet” on your skin, you know it is not a pleasurable experience. It feels like you skin is slightly burning. Now imagine having that mosquito repellant with “Deet” on your skin twenty four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week, for a couple of weeks.
The Avon Company sells a skin lotion product called “Skin So Soft”. It repels mosquitoes very well. You spread it all over you skin and clothing. You just smell like hand lotion.
“Bounce” clothes dryer, anti-static sheets are also said to repel mosquitoes. You pin several sheets onto your clothing and the odor the sheets give off, keeps the mosquitoes away. You look a little weird with these small white dryer sheets pinned all over you but they do work to a certain degree.
Citronella candles are another way to repel mosquitoes. You light the candles and the odor the candles give off, repels the mosquitoes. The problem with this is, you must be downwind of the candles. The slightest varying directional breeze defeats the mosquito repelling effect. There is also Citronella oil you can buy for TiKi Torches.
Another problem with mosquitoes is they continue to bite while you attempt to sleep.
After a hurricane, the electricity usually goes out for a couple of weeks. Without electricity, sleeping inside your house is problematic at best. The heat in your home builds up during the day and just stays inside your home at night because there is no moving air. Sleeping unprotected outside is not a good idea because of the mosquitoes.
I have found pitching a tent in the back yard under a shade tree works fairly well. Tents are made with lots of screening keeping the insects out, but letting air circulate. A pop-up camper works well also. Aluminum sided travel trailers do not work as good because they hold in the heat and the air cannot circulate as well like in a tent or pop up camper. However, with any of these options you must limit the going in and out of them because you let mosquitoes in. Always keep your tent screen door zipped up when not going in and out, not only because of allowing insects in, but snakes like to come in also.
Lastly, there is the old reliable mosquito net over your bed. I have never had much success with these but they do work. The military used them extensively during World War II in the South Pacific. They need to be draped over your bed with NO gaps around the ground. This can be a challenge if you get up to go to the bathroom a couple of times a night.
Like all disaster related supplies, you need to determine which works best for you before a disaster occurs, then stockpile them.
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