For those of us who call North Carolina home, tropical storms and hurricanes are the cost of doing business in one of the most beautiful spots on Earth. We know what to do: we stock up on essentials. We board up windows. We check on our neighbors. We keep up with the weather forecasts. We prepare to hunker down or to evacuate, as needed. But one thing we do not typically think of is pests. That’s right: when severe weather storms roll in, they can bring a spike in pest populations. Why? And what do you do to guard against infestations in your home?
Big Storms and Pest Populations
When there is a tropical storm or hurricane raging, the last thing on your mind is insects and pests. You’re worried about rain, flooding, wind, power outages, and disruptions in telecommunications and transportation. In the aftermath, we are focused on cleanup and recovery, depending on the severity.
Pests are also a concern, though. Standing water and downed trees left from storms create an excellent breeding ground for mosquitoes, rodents, and other pests, and populations explode.
The issue is more than a nuisance; many pests carry diseases and put us at risk. For example, mosquitoes can spread Zika virus and West Nile virus, while rats and mice can carry hantavirus.
How can you keep pests from taking over your yard - and even coming into your home?
Tips to Deal with Tropical Storm Pest Problems
1. Make Pest-Control Part of Your Storm Prep.
As you prepare for a storm, take a look for any cracks and crevices that could be vulnerable - and that can allow pests in. Use silicone-based caulk to seal cracks and either empty your trash cans or keep them well away from your house.
2. Get Rid of Standing Water.
Pests love stagnant water. Be sure to drain anything that can become a breeding ground, including birdbaths, flowerpots, clogged gutters, grill covers, garbage cans, wading pools, etc.
3. Remove Food Waste.
If you have a power outage, you may be dealing with spoiled food, which is quite alluring to pests. Bag up and seal any food waste and put it outside of your home. Sanitation workers typically prioritize removing household garbage in order to contain pest populations, so make sure to follow their guidelines for service/pickup.
4. Check for Damage and Make Necessary Repairs.
After a storm, check for any damage, including rotting wood. Pests can use these as access points, and they can cause extensive damage to your home. Termites, for example, can wreak havoc on your home’s structure.
Severe weather also drives wildlife - mice, rats, raccoons, squirrels, etc. - indoors. Seal up any cracks and gaps through which they can enter.
5. Contact Rid-a-Bug.
We are your pest control experts, and we pride ourselves on responsive, respectful service - even when we’re dealing with severe weather. We’ll be there as soon as we can to help deal with pest infestations and to help create a plan to mitigate or prevent problems in the first place.
When severe weather is heading in, we have a lot of worries on our minds. Pest control may not be at the top of the list, but when the wind and rain die down, Rid-a-Bug is here to help you resume life as usual.