Hurricane Pest Preparedness Tips
Experts are predicting a 75-percent chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be near – or above normal.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, and according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) experts are predicting a 75-percent chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be near – or above normal. Hurricanes can cause destructive damage to communities and unfortunately the aftereffects can continue long after the storm has passed, including long-term effects on pest populations.
Many pests affected by hurricanes can cause structural damage as well as spread diseases and homeowners should be vigilant to protect their family and homes this hurricane season. Arrow Exterminators is committed to helping homeowners understand the pest threats associated with hurricanes and we have identified the following pest preparedness tips to help homeowners proactively protect their homes from pests this hurricane season.
- Tip #1
REPAIR DAMAGE TO YOUR HOME
Rodents such as mice and rats are often displaced during a hurricane and as a result they will seek food and harborage in homes, and unfortunately, all they need is a very small opening to gain access to your home. Damage to the sides or roof of your home can create entry points and burst pipes can cause water damage that will create soft-spots and holes for rodents to crawl through.
Arrow Exterminators recommends that you proactively seal all cracks in and around the home and ensure that all doors and window screens are in good shape. Many rodents are known for spreading diseases and often carry other pests with them such as fleas and ticks, so it is important to repair any of these openings to your home as quickly as possible to prevent an infestation.
- Tip #2
REMOVE SOURCES OF STANDING WATER
With hurricanes comes flooding, and with flooding comes mosquitoes. Mosquitoes lay eggs near standing water, and hurricane flooding can greatly increase the number of mosquitoes around your property. Mosquitoes can develop from larvae to active mosquitoes within a matter of 10-14 days which is why homeowners generally notice an increase in mosquito activity about two weeks to two months after a hurricane or heavy rainfall.
In areas with Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, residents may be at more risk of getting infected with viruses such as Zika, chikungunya, or dengue. Arrow Exterminators recommends that you remove items that could potentially hold standing water after a heavy rain, keep gutters clean, and ensure that you have proper drainage around the home.
- Tip #3
CLEAN UP DEBRIS
Hurricane winds can cause damage to homes and often times there is construction debris from remodeling after a hurricane which can attract pests that are in search of shelter. Remove fallen limbs or pieces of debris that could harbor rodents or other pests. Leaf litter should be removed as soon as possible since wet leaf piles are attractive to fire ants looking to build a new home after a hurricane.
Secure rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged gutters since they are a source of moisture build-up around your home and can attract ants, mosquitoes, and other pests. Additionally, termites are attracted to the softened wood caused from the moisture near the clog.
- Tip #4
DISPOSE OF SPOILED FOOD
With hurricanes causing potential power outages, food in refrigerators and freezers can go bad very quickly. It is important to remove all spoiled food from the home in order to prevent flies and maggots infesting the area and exposing the home to disease.
- Tip #5
FORTIFY YOUR PROPERTY AGAINST TERMITES
Termites are another pest that becomes more active during hurricane season due to the increase in moisture and humidity. In addition to structural damage, termites also attack trees, especially pine and oak, and these trees that have been hollowed out by termites create liabilities for your property and safety.
The weakened tree core can be easily knocked over during a storm, leading to potential property damages and safety hazards. Regular termite prevention treatments are the best solution to protect your property and it is recommended that you have your property inspected by a professional termite company if you experience any flooding at your home.