The twenty-third capacity that I introduce in my eBook is that you must [be able to] avoid, treat, and repel insect bites. In it I state that:
You must “avoid, treat, and repel insect bites. In my opinion, bugs top the list of annoyances. In fact, they may prove to be a significant bother post-disaster depending on your geographic location (e.g., the Deep South) as well as other variables such as improper garbage or fecal waste disposal. Consider supplies such as mosquito head nets, insect repellents, citronella candles, and so on to keep them at bay. Anti-itch cream may prove useful too.”
Let me re-iterate: BUGS WILL BE ANNOYING in any extended emergency situation, maybe even a health hazard. Just think about how bad they can be in normal times and then come to the realization that there will be many, many reasons why they will be a much greater problem and you’ll soon agree. Think about trash piling up, improper waste disposal, lack of yard maintenance, no chemicals being sprayed to keep bugs and the stuff they like in check (like weeds), the potential for stagnant water around the home, sewer backups, and more. Now multiply this by a hundred-fold because all of your neighbors are contributing to this problem as well! Do you see how bad can it get?
While flying bugs are usually the most annoying pest, there are any number of creepy-crawly bugs such as ants, cockroaches, and spiders that may become a problem as well. To deal with the crawling sort, you first need to ensure your home’s interior is as clean as possible. Keep it as swept and tidy as possible. The same can be said for your home’s perimeter as well. In fact, keep some bug spray around just for this reason, both the type that is safe for indoor use and especially the type for outdoor use. Then, spray like a mad man! (Following the manufacturer’s instructions, of course.) Understand how and where to bury human waste and trash as well. Even if you neighbors don’t do it properly at least you can minimize the effect bugs will have on your life because you took care of your “business”… literally.
Maybe I’m more a bug-o-phobe than most, but I don’t know anyone that is happy to have nagging insects flying around. And, yes, your geographical locati0n will make a difference. That said, even those who live in places where bugs are not normally a problem may well find that the aforementioned conditions will soon cause them to be. So, what else can you do about it? Here are a few suggestions to keep the outside bugs off you as well:
- stock up on insect repellents (like DEET) for when you must be active outside
- mosquito head nets can be used to repel any flying insect and may prove to be invaluable post-emergency
- citronella candles may help a bit as well
- wear long sleeved shirts and pants, if possible, while working outside
- insect repellent clothing (contains permethrin) may be a viable solution
- campfire smoke will help to repel most bugs
- smearing a thin film of mud on exposed skin may repel bugs too
- avoid perfumes, lotions, and scented shampoos as these may attract bugs
- avoid eating foods with high levels of salt or potassium to reduce lactic acid formation when sweating, which may also attract mosquitos
- consider applying oil of lemon eucalyptus to your skin
I’m sure there are other ideas but you get the idea. Have the supplies you need on-hand to deal with them as best as you can. They really will be a nuisance and potentially a significant health hazard as well. And, did I mention rats and mice yet? I guess we’ll save them for another post.