MONDAY, Sept. 18, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- As if those who weathered Hurricanes Irma and Harvey don't have enough to worry about, one bug expert warns that the standing water left behind is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Residents need to drain birdbaths, pots and anything else in their yards that can provide egg-laying sites for the disease-carrying insects.
"No container is too small to empty," Phil Kaufman, an entomology professor at the University of Florida, said in a university news release.
Mosquito species that lay eggs in standing water in containers include those that transmit Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses.
Kaufman also recommended using mosquito briquettes to kill immature mosquitoes. The briquettes are available at many stores.
When you go outside to empty containers or do yard cleanup, you should apply insect repellent (preferably with DEET) and wear light-colored clothing, he advised.
Mosquito populations will be high for a few weeks after the hurricane, so you should contact your local mosquito control officials if you have concerns over an infestation in your yard or neighborhood, Kaufman added.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has more on mosquito control.