Mosquitoes add to problems after a hurricane

Hurricanes often leave standing water in the yards and homes of Florida residents. A University of Florida researcher suggests steps for making sure your home doesn’t become a haven for mosquitoes.

Some mosquito species can lay up to 200 eggs at a time, so it’s critical to empty cups, birdbaths, pots or anything else on your property that has standing water, said UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences entomology professor Phil Kaufman.

“No container is too small to empty,” Mr. Kaufman said. In addition to getting rid of standing water, he recommends residents use mosquito briquettes to kill immature mosquitoes. The mosquito briquettes are available at many stores.

When going outside to empty containers or do yard cleanup, Mr. Kaufman urged residents to wear insect repellent (preferably with DEET) and light-colored clothing.

Containers are a haven for certain types of mosquitoes to lay eggs, particularly after heavy rains, he said. Mosquitoes that lay eggs in containers include two that can transmit Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses, Mr. Kaufman said. After these rains, mosquito populations will be high for a few weeks, if not a month. Contact your local mosquito control officials to tell them if you have concerns over an infestation in your yard or neighborhood, he said.

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