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Midwest Flooding Means More Mosquitoes and West Nile Virus
When you think about all the damage that flooding has caused, we tend to think about the damage to property and loss of homes.
However, an often overlooked side effect of flooding tends to be diseases.
And in this case one that we're going to have to worry about all summer long is a likely record number of West Nile Virus cases this year. All the flooding has caused there to be a lot of standing water throughout the middle of the country, and that means prime breeding ground for mosquitoes. That also meant that the need to scour for the best mosquito spray containing deet was exigent.
And while most of the time we live in climate controlled enviroments like office buildings and air conditioned homes, when we're out camping, we're a lot more vulnerable to everything that nature has to throw at us, including mosquitoes and West Nile Virus.
And if you're thinking that West Nile Virus is no big deal, then you may want to think again. While it starts out with flu like symptoms, it can ruin your entire summer. People have reported being in bed for weeks because they're too weak to get out of bed (kind of sounds like mono to me). And some have said it's taken them three months before they get their strength back.
I don't know about you, but to me that really doesn't sound like much fun.
And just not going camping seems like a ridiculous solution (you can get it anywhere, not just out in the woods) as well.
So here are some ways to minimize your risk of getting bit by mosquitoes:
- Wear long sleeves if weather permits or if you're going to be deep in heavily wooded and brush filled areas for extended periods of time. This is something I learned when I was younger and my parents would drag me out of bed at 5:30 AM to help them pick rasberries in the woods. It's great for preventing your arms from getting scraped up and is good at keeping the mosquitoes away.
- Wear Mosquito Repellent. If you're not a fan of the chemical stuff with DEET in it, then you can make your own using the recipe I gave you last week.
- Lastly, don't be afraid to surround your campsite with citronella candles (watch our video about keeping mosquitoes away) so that you can it around a campfire telling stories and roasting marshmallows without fear of getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, and more importantly minimizing your risk of getting West Nile Virus.