Insect and rodent infestation - Hurricane Hugo : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I was doing a search on "toilet paper" last night and came across an article on how residents of areas of hit by Hurricane Hugo were affected. Most of the issues it covers have been discussed here, expect for the article's section on "Insect and Rodent Infestation" which maybe needs a bit more attention in our own planning.

"Major Disasters Can Take Away Creature Comforts" is the name of the article.

Areas covered in the article:

Civic Support Services



Waste Disposal And Sanitation

Insect And Rodent Infestation




-- Kevin (, January 26, 1999


I enjoyed reading this account, Kevin, learned a few things too. Thanks for the link. I read somewhere, years ago, that mosquitos prefer light clothing to dark, smooth to rough--or is it the other way around? Anyone know of these and other low-tech means to discourage mosquitos, other pests? (I did find out by accident that Off! repels ants when sprayed on their routes into the house; tansy leaves didn't work, nor did garlic and bay, but the aroma was appetizing.)

-- Old Git (, January 26, 1999.

Thanks Kevin. Another good one.

Old Git, essential oil of lavender will help with the mosquitos also citronella. A friend bought a solar powered key-chain sized, sonic mosquito repellant item that she swears by ... perhaps it can be found at a camping supply store.


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 26, 1999.

Stock up on Skin-So-Soft by Avon, the skeeters hate the stuff!

-- bardou (, January 26, 1999.

The only reason skin-so-soft works is the oil base. Same principle why Indians smeared themselves in animal grease. (Suggested reading - Cape Cod by William? Martin) Might as well slather on Johnson's baby oil - a lot cheaper and doesn't stink as much. Faded blue jeans are much less of a mosquito attractant than faded jeans.

-- Brooks (, January 26, 1999.

I've been taking brewers' yeast and deodorized garlic daily for several years now. Used to get chigger and mosquito bites in quantity. Last couple of years only maybe 3 per year tops. Haven't been hiding in the basement, either. Camping and hiking -- Ontario forest & lake country, North Georgia mountains, like that. Without repellents. Post hoc, propter hoc -- it works for me.

-- Tom Carey (, January 26, 1999.

Mosquitoes prefer dark clothing to light, don't know about roughness being a factor, although denser weaves will prevent them from getting through.

Skin-So-Soft, in tests, offered repellent protection for less than an hour. There is also some concern with the absorbtion of some of its ingredients into the skin.

Baby oil is not a good choice, either... it's mineral oil, which when absorbed by the skin, binds with the oil-soluble vitamins (A,D,E)in your system and is excreted with them, leading to deficiencies.

Deet is often used, but it is absorbed and stored in body fat, and some people can go into anaphylactic shock from an allergic reaction to it. Also, its value as a tick repellent is overstated, in my experience.

Permethrin is applied to clothing only, will stand up to several washings, and lasts two weeks between applications. Kills any fly (mosquito) or arachnid (tick, chigger, spider) that touches clothing treated with it. Combined with Sawyer Gold repellent (same cautions as Deet above) for use on exposed skin, kills/repels most anything, including black flies. It works, I've used it.

For in the home: citronella candles, mosquito coils, and flypaper are all good ideas, Y2K-wise.

For rats and mice: keep a jar of peanut butter for the sole purpose of baiting traps, rodents can't resist it - much better than cheese. Regular traps are OK, but the Havahart models are better. Keep a bucket of water large and deep enough to submerge the trap in to drown the animals. Do not handle the traps directly, have a long stick or bar to keep it at arms lenght when moving, both to prevent possible bite, but most importantly to avoid coming in contact with lice/fleas - think bubonic plague. Bury/burn to dispose of, spray trap or place in fire to sterilize.

Best to prevent infestations in the first place by good houskeeping - keep your stored food in *well-scrubbed* garbage cans with tight-fitting lids... mice/rats will gnaw through plastic buckets.

-- Why2K? (, January 27, 1999.

Additional to above:

Diatomaceous earth (the nasty, high-silica-content variety purchased at pool stores, not the milder kind used for food storage - wear respiratory protection!) will kill ants, roaches, etc., when dusted in crevices, doorways, etc. Borax has long been used to control roaches - used in conjunction with diatomaceous earth.

-- Why2K? (, January 27, 1999.

Excellent, practical advice, especially from Why2K. The pointer on metal garbage cans is particularly astute. In the more humid parts of the country, a coat of rust-preventer on the exterior of the can wouldn't be a bad idea. Thanks to everyone for taking the time and trouble to post all this info--it'll come in useful, Y2K or not.

-- Old Git (, January 27, 1999.

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