Severe Storm Pest Preparedness & Prevention Tips
Meteorologists predict dangerous storms this Easter weekend from the Gulf Coast to Northeast.
The last thing you want this time of year are unwanted storms coming through your town, but unfortunately expert meteorologists are expecting strong to locally severe thunderstorms across the southern and central plains this spring season.
These weather patterns are said to trigger damaging wind gusts, large amounts of hail, thunderstorms, flash flooding, and even tornadoes. Tornadoes and thunderstorms 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 these natural disasters can cause structural damage as well as spread diseases and homeowners should be cautious to protect their family and homes during this crucial time. Arrow Exterminators is committed to helping homeowners understand the pest threats associated with catastrophes and we have identified the following tips to help homeowners proactively protect their family from pests and storms.
Before The Storm:
- Tip #1
This is probably the most crucial tip of all! The best way to stay safe during a thunderstorm or tornado is to always have fresh batteries and a battery-operated TV, radio or internet-enabled device to listen to the latest emergency weather. During these disasters, you should also always have an emergency kit available which can include water, non-perishable food and medication. It is better to be prepared for a disaster than not at all.
- Tip #2
FIND THE BEST SHELTER FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
In the event of a storm, finding safe shelter is necessary in any situation. If your home has a basement or an inside room without windows on the bottom floor (like a bathroom, closet, hallway) … go there! This is always the best place to be because you are avoiding windows and the exterior of the home. A mobile home is NEVER a good place to be during these types of storms. If you do live in a mobile home, find a suitable building or home with proper protection.
- Tip #3
STAY AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Keep an eye out at the sky. If you notice the sky turning a dark green-color, increasing winds, or you see flashes of lightening, it is best to seek shelter immediately. If you notice any of these conditions, be sure to tune in to a local radio or TV station for weather updates for your safety.
- Tip #4
REPAIR DAMAGE TO YOUR HOME
Rodents are widely known for sneaking into places they shouldn’t be, especially through tiny openings in your home. Unfortunately, mice and rats are often displaced during a storm and as a result, they will seek food and harborage in homes. A mouse only needs a space the size of a nickel and a rat can squeeze through an opening the size of a quarter. 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 #5
CLEAN UP DEBRIS
Winds can cause damage to homes and often there is construction debris from remodeling after a tornado 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 thunderstorm.
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 #6
REMOVE SOURCES OF STANDING WATER
With severe storms comes flooding, and with flooding comes mosquitoes. Mosquitoes lay eggs near standing water, and thunderstorm flooding can greatly increase the number of mosquitoes around your property. Not only do mosquitoes leave painful, itchy welts, but they also pose as a huge health threat to you and your family. It only takes just 10 to 14 days after a rain shower for mosquitoes to re-populate – so quickly eliminating any standing water on your property is a must.
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.