Atlantic hurricane season officially arrived on June 1. While most people are aware of the storm damage a hurricane can cause, many don’t realize that hurricanes and other severe storms can also trigger serious pest concerns that can lead to a need for pest control services.
If you live in an area that could experience a hurricane, be aware of these potential pest issues following a storm. Here’s what to watch for when it comes to hurricanes and pests.
Increased Mosquito Activity
Hurricanes bring rain and localized flooding, as well as high winds. This sheer power of a storm can bring down vegetation, clog storm drains and gutters, and cause damage to relocate items. They leave behind large areas of standing water. All of this can create a perfect breeding opportunity for mosquitoes, with some species – such as those that can carry Zika virus – only needing a tablespoon of water to breed.
To prevent mosquito bites and discourage mosquito activity following a storm:
- Always wear an EPA-approved insect repellent when working outside
- If possible, wear long sleeved shirts and long pants when working outside, keep as much of your skin covered as possible
- Eliminate as much standing water as possible to prevent mosquitoes from hatching
- Empty any containers that hold water
- Clean clogged gutters and drains as soon as possible.
Relocated Pests Due to Flooding
Hurricanes may trigger flooding that can relocate some species of pests, causing areas that didn’t have pest problems before a storm to see them after. Rodents are excellent swimmers and can move with flood waters. Some species of ants – such as fire ants – will actually form “rafts” and float until they reach dry land. So, don’t think that flooding will have wiped the area clean from pain, the exact opposite might be true.
Pests in Waterlogged Areas
Pests can be attracted to moisture, so for proper control and pest prevention it’s important to remove or dry out saturated carpets quickly. In addition, it may be necessary to discard other items damaged by flood waters such as books, photo albums, and furniture that cannot be thoroughly dried. Don’t bring pests inside your home accidentally by not removing these items.
Pests Due to Structural Damage
High winds, flying debris, and water can cause structural damage to buildings and homes. Repair any structural damage as soon as possible. Holes, gaps, roof damage, and weakened structures provide opportunities for both rodent and insect pests to enter. Remember, rodents can fit through openings as small as ¼-inch. Pests looking for a dry and warm place after a storm could invade your home through even the tiniest of holes left behind.
Debris left in the wake of a storm can make attractive harboring places for pests, bringing them closer to your home, which can then lead to them entering your home. Clear debris from your property as quickly as is safely possible following a storm.
Ehrlich is your partner is pest control. If you need assistance with a pest issue in the days following a hurricane, please contact us and let a representative know your home has been impacted by a storm. One of our highly trained and qualified pest control technicians will get out to your home fast and consult with you about what we can do to help.