Lowcountry residents are no strangers to daily rain showers in the summer. The severity of our afternoon showers can vary from light and quick to heavy and seemingly endless. But regardless of the storm, there is only one thing that mosquitoes love more than hot, humid weather and that is water. Mosquitoes are known to be a top summer nuisance pest and become a huge problem when they invade your property. They are not just pesky creatures that we all hate – they are often considered the most dangers insect in existence! Mosquitoes are incredibly dangerous, bloodsucking beasts that transmit diseases like West Nile and (more commonly) malaria to its victims. Not only do they spread disease but can cause fever, diarrhea, dengue (breakbone fever), and even death. Each year, this vampire pest kills more than one million people around the world.
Living in an area with high temperatures and frequent summer rain, it can seem like these insects never go away. All of the summertime showers we get in the Lowcountry can cause our local mosquito population to explode. As a result, these pests can often seem even more aggressive after a rainfall or storm. Together, however, we can work to try to prevent this after a summer storm!
Before we get into the “how”, it is important to know the two major factors that contribute to hot weather and heavy rain attracting more mosquitoes:
Mosquitoes are cold-blooded insects. Because of this, these nuisance pests will not disappear until the temperature remains 50 degrees or below. As residents of the Lowcountry, you know that temperatures exceed 50 degrees most months of the year. As a result, we are in a hot zone for mosquito activity beginning in March and extending through October.
When it comes to rain, mosquitoes are not particularly attracted to rain itself but rather the standing water left behind. Standing water is where mosquitoes lay their eggs, so without it these pests are not able to breed. Rainwater that is left behind provides prime real estate for mosquito eggs to survive and eventually hatch. Any water left undistributed for a long period of time will allow this evolution to take place, so it is important to consistently monitor and inspect your property following rain and storms to mitigate potential mosquito problems. It only takes 7-10 days for mosquito eggs to mature and emerge from the water!
It is important to know that the eventual hatching of the eggs is what leads to an invasion on your property.
What to Do About Mosquitoes After a Summer Rain
There are many steps you can take to decrease the possibility of mosquito activity increasing around your home following a summer rain. As a result, your yard and family will be better protected against these vampire pests. Check out these easy ways you can help keep mosquitoes at bay and your family safe this summer:
- Stay indoors during times when mosquitoes are most active following a heavy rain or storm. Mosquitoes typically are most active during the dusk hours. If you do need to venture outside during this time, take extra precaution to protect yourself. Wear long sleeves and pants, and light colors are best. Also apply an EPA-approved repellant.
- Remove standing water from the ground as well as in places such as: flowerpots, bird baths, tarps, old tires, even kids’ toys! Any container in and around your yard that is or can hold standing water, flip it over or remove it.
- Remove piles of leaves and debris from your yard as well as from your gutters. These areas provide a place for mosquitoes to hide and breed.
- Cover all objects that can collect or hold standing water but cannot be removed. This includes pools and boats.
- Check the area around your pool regularly and remove standing water. Lucky for Lowcountry pool owners, the water inside your pool itself is not ideal for mosquito larvae to survive because of the chlorine content. However, most pools are surrounded by concrete spaces which can carry stagnant water from rainfall or nearby sprinklers. Mosquitoes only need a small amount of water to lay eggs on so make this area a part of your regular inspection.