The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, but reaches its peak in early fall. While most people are aware of the storm damage a hurricane can cause, many don’t realize that hurricanes and other severe weather can also trigger serious pest concerns.
If you live in a hurricane-prone area, be aware of these potential pest issues following a storm. Here’s what to watch for this hurricane season when it comes to pests.
Hurricane season increases mosquito activity
Hurricanes bring rain and localized flooding, as well as high winds. The sheer power of a storm can bring down vegetation, clog storm drains and gutters, relocate items, and leave behind large areas of standing water. These factors create the perfect breeding opportunity for mosquitoes, such as those that can carry West Nile virus.
To prevent mosquito bites and discourage mosquito activity the weeks following a storm:
- Apply an EPA-approved insect repellent when outside
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, covering as much skin as possible
- Eliminate standing water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding
- Clear clogged gutters and drains as soon as possible
Relocated pests due to hurricane flooding
Flooding can force some species of pests to other areas that didn’t have pest problems before. For instance, rodents are excellent swimmers and can easily navigate floodwaters. Also, some species of fire ants can form “rafts” and float until they reach dry land. So, if you didn’t have pest risks before, you may encounter them after a storm.
Pests and 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 may provide entry points for both rodents and insects. Mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime and rats the size of a quarter.
Remove debris in the aftermath of a hurricane
Debris on your property in the wake of a storm can provide places for pests to hide. Sometimes referred to as pest harborages, these hiding places can bring pests closer to your home, which can then lead to them entering your home. When it’s safe to do so, clear away any debris to reduce the likelihood of pests making your property their home.
Preventative pest control before the hurricane hits
Many of the problems pests cause are avoidable. Water and powerful winds increase the likelihood of a small problem growing bigger. Furthermore, winds can cause old or dying trees to be uprooted. When trees fall, they can create holes in your roof, which pests can enter. And, if not cleared, they can become a harborage for pests.
Beat the storm! To ensure that you are adequately prepared prior to an impending storm or protected shortly thereafter, give Ehrlich a call. One of your local Ehrlich pest control experts will come and inspect your property to make sure any opportunities for pest activity are eliminated.
Ehrlich is your partner in pest control. If you need assistance with a pest issue in the days leading up to or following a hurricane, please contact us online or call us at 888-984-0186 to let a representative know your home has been impacted by a storm. One of our highly trained and qualified pest control specialists will get out to your home quickly and consult with you about what we can do to help.
For more tips, visit Ehrlich’s Hurricane Recovery Tips page.