The Atlantic hurricane season in 2020, running through June to November, typically causes widespread damage to life and property. The coastal states on the Gulf, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, and Mississippi, are usually the worst hit during this time.
The most obvious damage from hurricanes or other severe storms is likely to be in the form of flooding or high-speed winds. They damage your vehicles and home with all your beloved appliances and even furniture. The storms destroy power lines, trees, and buildings. Most people, however, don’t notice how hurricanes affect pest populations in and around their homes.
The short answer is yes. People residing on the coastlines experience hurricanes and should be aware of the possible pest complications that could arise afterward. Flood-affected areas experience a much higher pest attack rates than normal areas due to increased moisture and debris displacement.
Here is a list of the pest problems that could crop up this hurricane season:
Hurricanes can clog drains and gutters and cause localized flooding due to incessant rain. These blockages leave behind a sizable puddle of standing water, making it the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
A flood does not clear an area of pests but may cause the pests to relocate to other areas. For instance, Fire ants form a raft-like structure until they reach drier areas while rodents can swim and move along with the floodwaters.
Pests are drawn towards moisture. Damp items like carpets, books, and furniture will attract pests to your home.
Flying debris, winds, and water can damage the structure of buildings and homes. Roof damage, gaps, holes, and weakened foundation can offer entryways to rodents and insects. This is the best time for them to find new spots to nest within your home.
The National Pest Management Association has reported the following pests to be of the most concern during and the months after the hurricane season.
Many rodents would be displaced during the hurricane, gathering in fallen garbage cans or construction debris.
If your neighborhood was flooded and water displaced the soil, termites can find easy entryways to your home. Even if you have a pesticide barrier, it is likely to be displaced, bringing termites into your home directly. In such cases, the homes in the area must be treated for termites to avoid structural damage.
During a hurricane, many people have to evacuate their homes and end up sharing clothing or furnishings with many others. Bed bugs can easily transmit when living in such close quarters. They are stubborn and it can be quite hard to get rid of them.
Flies usually breed in sewage pooling from broken pipes or rotting garbage from mounds of spoiled food. The power cuts can cause the food at home to rot and invite infestation by flies.
Fallen trees and stagnant water encourage all kinds of insects to seek safe shelter, usually our homes. Proper measures must be taken to mitigate this situation as it involves serious health and property issues. Following the preventative measures given below can help in pest prevention and control during hurricane season -
You can start off conducting exhaustive inspections inside and outside your home to find any construction issues that could be worsened by the impending storm.
Stagnant water or water receptacles are preferred breeding grounds for mosquitoes. These pests need at least half an inch of water to propagate. Homeowners should tackle any standing water sources like clogged gutters or drains, garbage cans, flowerpots, birdbaths, etc. Draining these water deposits can prevent the infestation of pests in your backyard.
Extended power cuts due to bad weather can cause the food in your home to spoil. Rotten food or food waste attracts flies and rodents. For this reason, it is best to discard this waste outside in a sealed trash bag.
Sanitary workers prioritize collecting trash over debris lying around. It is advisable to handle these piles of debris with gloves and keep away from the house.
Water damaged wood can attract pesky termites that bite through it and cause thousands of dollars worth of damage very quickly. In addition, excessive moisture can oversaturate the soil around your property, making underground insects like ants to seek shelter inside your house.
Removing debris and fixing damaged water pipes can help in mitigating these threats. It’s a great idea to ensure that the property’s slopes slide away from the house to stop water from pooling around.
Rain, hail, and high winds during a hurricane can damage houses. This weather also displaces the surrounding wildlife, making bigger pests like mice, squirrels, raccoons, etc. to seek shelter in nearby homes.
Structural damages like damaged siding, soffits, and roofing can turn into entryways for these animals. Any signs of damage on the exterior or around the house should be fixed at the earliest. Sealing any openings around the doors and windows with caulk or steel will act as barricades against these pests.
It may seem easy enough to take precautions and try to combat pest infestation by yourself. However, things can get out of hand during a calamity. Professionals have years of experience in their hands and have plans to handle these situations. Leaving pest control issues to the experts can bring much better results.
If you suspect a possible pest infestation in your home, you should consider calling licensed pest control professionals to your rescue. They can inspect and identify any underlying issues before they get out of hand. They also offer different types of customized treatment plans in case of a possible infestation.