Editor’s note: The Centers for Disease Control and Preparedness is in the midst of a Zombie Preparedness campaign — a fun new way to engage audiences with preparedness messages. The following article — a collaborative effort from pest management professionals Rose McMillan and Allie Taisey — part of this campaign. To learn more visit about CDC’s Zombie Preparedness campaign, visit www.cdc.gov/phpr/zombies.htm.
Have you ever watched a zombie apocalypse on screen and wondered how the characters might deal with the mundane issues that come up in everyday life? For example, how come no one’s hair grows longer and men don’t have long beards? Being a pest control professional, I also think about the not-so-glamour’s realities of pest control in an apocalyptic world.
Yes, surviving the zombie apocalypse is going to be tedious. But it will be even worse if you fail to take precautions against pests. After all, you won’t be able to call up your local pest control company or stop at a store for pest control supplies. As you prepare for the inevitable zombie apocalypse, it’s imperative that you consider the risks of pests thwarting your best-laid zombie apocalypse plan.
I’ve created the following pest control guide to surviving the zombie apocalypse:
Keep Your Food Safe
Food is going to be hard to come by once zombies start roaming the earth. Protect your provisions from pests. Certain items, such as canned goods, will stay good for a long time without any potential pest ramifications. Cereal, grains and other similar foods are a completely different story. Before you store these items in preparation of the ever impending zombie apocalypse, you should remove them from their regular packaging and place them into airtight containers. Doing this will keep moisture out, and it will also keep your food from being infested with roaches or meal moths. Hard plastic containers are a safer bet than bags because they will also keep rodents out too. To make it easy to move in a hurry, all of your food containers can be placed inside of a tote with handles. Even with these precautions in place, you should still place some pest monitors and do a regular inspection of the area where you are storing your apocalypse supplies, just to be on the safe side.
Keep Your Blood to Yourself
If your apocalypse plan involves heading to the woods, then you must avoid areas that have stagnant water. These waters are a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The last thing you want to deal with while a zombie is chasing you is the fever, body aches, and disorientation that can accompany Dengue and the West Nile Virus.
Avoiding Bed-Bug-Induced Insanity
Sufficient sleep is essential for peak mental performance, a major factor in emergency survival.
Unfortunately, bed bugs are likely to proliferate during a zombie apocalypse, robbing you of sleep and sucking your blood—which will doubtlessly attract zombies. If you perform a basic pest inspection and notice bed bugs, their shed skins, or stains on your bedding and furniture, call a professional before they close their doors and head for the hills. Something you should do before a post zombie apocalyptic world, is install monitors for bed bugs and inspect often.
Pack if Possible
If you are allergic to bee stings, make sure that you have some EpiPens in your emergency bag. A good repellent isn’t a bad idea either. No matter how much of a thriller shows like the “Walking Dead” may be, mother nature will continue to exist. That means the ticks, biting flies, chiggers and gnats will be competing with the zombies to find you.
Exclude the Zombies and the Pests
Before a zombie apocalypse happens, seal crevices around the outside of your house, make sure screens are in place, and install door sweeps. Any gap that could fit an insect or mouse should be covered to prevent the pests from getting in and your sweet-zombie-attracting odor from getting out. While you’re at it, trim any bushes and trees that are touching your home. You’ll take away the bridges that pests use to get on your home AND reduce the number of places where zombies can hide.
As you can see, pest control during a zombie apocalypse is critical, but doable. With preventative measures and a regular pest inspection routine, you'll have a much better chance of getting through the zombie apocalypse alive instead of undead.
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