The other day, as I was driving my children to their first Karate lesson, I enjoyed looking at all of the well-groomed lawns and pastures. In stark contrast, however, I noticed all of the unkempt land and grassy areas along the way. I couldn’t help but laugh at how thin a line we keep between the creepy crawly bugs and our civilized society.
Think about how much work we put forth to keep our homes and cities enjoyable. We mow lawns and pull weeds weekly. We spray pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, all around the home. We alter our property’s landscape by removing natural vegetation (bushes and trees). We pave roads, parking lots, and walkways. We even spend tons of money insulating our homes to keep the bugs out.
We (as a society) go to a lot of work and effort to keep our homes comfortable and yet the bugs still seem to get in and even wreck havoc in some cases (such as with termites). The simple truth is that we’re meant to live with bugs and everything else… we just don’t like to do it!
Regardless of where you live (in the heart of a city or a more rural area) you WILL have to deal with insects in any lengthy emergency scenario. This could be any type of bug, including cockroaches, ants, termites, wasps, fleas, flies, fruit flies, maggots, and even bedbugs. If given long enough, they will seem to invade your property and even your home. Why?
For a few reasons. First, most people will probably not be mowing their lawns, pulling weeds, or keeping brush areas in check. Second, normal routines of spraying the aforementioned insecticides and pesticides will not occur. Third, a lack of typical human routines will allow the bugs to return and invade.
And, remember, it’s not just your efforts to keep the bugs down that I’m referring to, but those of your neighbors and even city workers as well.
Within just a few months, much of your local habitat will become prime real estate for bugs to invade, incubate, and take over! Within just 90 days, most grassy areas will have grown to a height of between several inches to a foot and a half tall. Additionally, many insects have breed within that time (or very close to it) and, since they have not been kept in check, they will be looking for new food sources, such as from inside your home.
You must be vigilant to combat their advances. Here’s how…
Proper cleansing and upkeep of your home–especially food and garbage–will be paramount. You will need a good plan for properly clean all dishes, pots, pans, utensils, etc. Your floors should be swept daily. You will need to bury (or burn if permissible) garbage ASAP. If you cannot do that then it will need stored in sturdy garbage cans with tight-fitting lids until it can be disposed of properly. An appropriate latrine or outhouse should be constructed to deal with human excrement. Of course, many of these suggestions are just good practice for your general health and well-being as well.
Additionally, you will want to keep your home’s perimeter as in good repair too. Ensure there are no easy entry points into your home through foundation cracks, poor door or window insulation, or missing or broken doorway sweeps. Windows should have screens and be in good repair. If necessary, use plastic sheeting or something similar to temporarily mend problem areas.
Last, keep and spray appropriate pesticides regularly (according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, of course). This will be your first line of defense to keep the crawling bugs at bay. Personally, I might choose to be a bit more liberal with how much spray is used as well as the coverage area width, especially on the outside of my home.
In an emergency situation, it’s really about minimizing the effect that insects will have on your life rather than nearly eliminating their presence. So, did I miss anything? What would you do different or in addition to my suggestions?