Hurricane Season is Here
Officially, the season starts in June, but storm activity can increase as the season progresses toward fall. You probably think about food, batteries and water for your family, but have you ever wondered about insects during a hurricane or tropical storm? Insects and rodents tend to seek shelter before and during a storm, but after the storm things can get even more interesting.
Hurricanes can leave standing water, damaged vegetation and other challenges in affected areas. That provides opportunities for mosquitos and other insects to take up new residences. Rodents are great swimmers and can move with flood waters into areas they haven’t been in before. Likewise, ants – especially fire ants – can form a ball or raft and float to high ground.
Where to Look for Standing Water
Swampy conditions from standing water following hurricanes or other storms can linger due to the topography of your yard. Correcting drainage issues requires an investment and potentially some heavy equipment. But but many times, standing water is found lingering in things left outside your home. Potted plants, garbage cans, buckets and bird baths can go unused for a long period of time and hold water. These items can create a haven for pests and a hazard for your family long after the storm has passed.
Pests to Expect
The most obvious swamp-pest that loves standing water is the mosquito. In our coastal region, summer isn’t summer without mosquitos buzzing around. Standing water can also become a source of nutrition for other pests that require water to thrive like carpenter ants, roaches and termites.
Homes with crawl spaces and poor drainage can see standing water cause greater harm. Standing water damages the wood under the home and leaves it soft and rotting. This in turn attracts termites to the now easily digestible wood. All wildlife seeks food, water and shelter. Standing water and rotting wood become nutritional sources and shelter for termites and other pests and animals. Following a significant storm, rodents and larger animals may also be seeking these essentials in areas they have not foraged before. Once they move in, they can wreak havoc on your home, your nerves and your wallet.
What to Do
Rid your home area of unnecessary items that can hold standing water. Invert items you want to keep like buckets, planters, or small pools. Put outside toys inside a dry shed and regularly check fixtures like a bird bath or fountain. Your best weapon is often common sense and a few minutes to stop, look around the yard and take action where water may have collected.
If your yard or items in it have a “swampy” feel due to standing water problems, take steps to safely remove the water and help prevent insect infestations. If you have a moisture problem in a crawl space or in your home following monsoon rains or tropical storms, our Moisture Control Services can help. If pests have already impacted your home, contact a May Exterminating professional for service you can trust.