When we picture the end of the world, we often imagine the devastation of a nuclear bombing, or society collapsing into a total state of anarchy. However, if you prepare only for these scenarios, you may find yourself completely at a loss in the case of an insect apocalypse.
Sure, it may not sound like a glamorous way to go, but we are already extremely outnumbered by these tiny creatures. We may be closer to peril than we realize when it comes to locusts, mosquitoes and ants. What can you do to prepare for these situations and make sure you and your loved ones escape unscathed? Read on for some valuable advice.
The Locust Plague
Locusts are mostly known for the role they are said to have played in the ten plagues of Egypt, but most species of locusts are alive and well today. While these insects do not directly harm humans, they cause devastation through their ability to completely devour all the organic material in the area they decide to swarm. Therefore, if you are living off the land, or even depending on a small garden plot for most of your food, locusts can be a huge problem.
If locusts swarm your shelter, there’s not much you can do to stop them. A few precautions can help save some of your crops. Surrounding your garden in sturdy netting, cheesecloths or Flour Sack Towels may help save some of the damage, but remember that locusts can squeeze through gaps in the netting.
If the worst happens, and you lose your crops, remember that, surprisingly, locusts are edible, and a good source of protein.
Most of us recognize mosquitoes as minor annoyances – their bites a given negative side to summer’s nice weather. However, did you know that mosquitoes can swarm, just like locusts? If conditions are right, fertile breeding leads to overcrowding, and the hungry insects will ruthlessly start sucking on the blood of any animal they can find.
Fortunately, mosquito traps exist which actually interrupt the breeding cycle. One of these devices is a must-have if you will be in a place teeming with mosquitoes, even if they’re not swarming. Beyond the trap, be sure to wear light long-sleeved clothing and gloves to protect yourself from bites, and consider wearing netting around your head to protect your face.
Ants Taking Over
The ground beneath your feet is teeming with another potential threat: hundreds of thousands of ants. The powerhouses of the insect world, ants have colonized nearly every landmass on earth besides Antarctica. In fact, ants of one particular species have colonized much of the world, forming one gigantic mega-colony that spans from Europe to Japan to the California coast.
As anyone who has seen Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull knows, ant swarms are terrifying – even when not elevated to a cinematic level. Fire ants can swarm in seconds and their bites can even lead to death.
In order to escape these bites, which tend to be incredibly painful, avoid wearing sandals or flip flops when walking through an area where you may not immediately spot an ant mound. Keep ants from swarming your home or shelter by creating barriers with substances ants dislike, such as soap, peppermint oil, cinnamon or coffee grounds. If they do enter your home, take advantage of insect control products designed to trap and kill them.
No matter what happens, remember that insects are less likely to be drawn to a clean space than a messy one. Make sure that any food you have stored is in air-tight plastic, glass or metal containers. Insects can chew through materials like cardboard and fabric, so never store food in these. Finally, be sure to keep insect repellent sprays and traps on hand; you’ll regret not having them!
Alicia grew up in Alaska where she earned her hunter and wilderness safety license at age 13. She now works as a content coordinator for a tech company in Pennsylvania and blogs in her free time at Homey Improvements.