What to Expect with Tropical Storms and Pests

What to Expect with Tropical Storms and Pests

Summer is a favorite time of year for residents of the Carolinas and Virginia. There is a lot of opportunity for fun in the sun and sand, letting the kids play outdoors, and enjoying our beautiful area. However, it is also a season of potentially volatile weather. The 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season has been quiet thus far, but that is to be expected June through early August. It is around the time students begin returning to school that the ocean temperatures are their warmest. From late August through the middle of October, we are likely to see a number of storms form and threaten the East Coast.

Longtime residents of the piedmont, foothills, and mountains know that hurricanes and tropical storms may lose a lot of their peak wind strength, but they can cause major problems well inland. Elevation can enhance rainfalls and windspeeds, even for weakening storms. The mountains and foothills are prone to landslides from heavy rain, rivers, and creeks throughout the Carolinas and Virginia will swell and spill their banks, and we can even experience tornadoes.

A few hurricanes and tropical storms that have battered our area in recent memory include: 

  • Hurricane Hugo – 1989
  • Hurricanes Fran -- 1996
  • Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd – 1999
  • Hurricane Frances – 2004
  • Hurricanes/Superstorm Sandy – 2012
  • Hurricane Matthew – 2016
  • Hurricanes Florence and Michael – 2018

That list is hardly exhaustive, but time would fail to discuss every tropical depression and system that has crossed our area in the last three decades. Yet, every one of them has contributed to pest infestations. In this article, we will discuss how tropical weather brings pests to your property, and what you can do about it.

Tropical Systems Inevitably Lead to Pest Infestations

When you are preparing for and living through the inland remnants of a hurricane or tropical storm in the area, it may be as simple as a soggy day or two, or as harrowing as evacuating a flooding home. However, it is when the skies clear that you may find yourself dealing with a pest or wildlife infestation. From mosquitos to termites and ants to rodents, your home and property are likely to be invaded by unwanted guests. It may be inevitable.

Why Are Pests Worse After Tropical Weather?

There are several reasons infestations are increased by tropical storms and hurricanes:

  • Standing Water: The remnants of Hurricane Florence (September 2018) left a lot of standing water that hardly had time to evaporate before the remnants of Michael (October 2018) brought in excess of half a foot more rainfall. Standing water is a breeding ground for pests like mosquitos.
  • Sinking Air: On the heels of tropical storms in our area, we typically experience an influx of heat and humidity that meteorologists call “sinking air.” This leads to a late summer or early fall insurgence of annoying pests.
  • Indoor Moisture: Many pests are attracted to moisture. If your basement, crawlspace, attic, or other parts of your home are given to high humidity and excess moisture after a storm, you may see an influx of termites, ants, beetles, silverfish, and other pests.
  • Power Outages: If you go any length of time without electricity, the heat and humidity in your home can attract new pests, as well as spoiled food and other power outage related issues,  may attract bugs, ants, and termites.
  • Flooding: If you were unfortunate enough to experience flooding in any part of your home, you may well be dealing with an insect or pest infestation.
  • Storm Damage: If you experienced roof damage, broken windows or siding, pests and wildlife may enter your home to seek shelter from the elements.

What Can Homeowners Do To Reduce the Treat of Pests?

There are a few things you can do before the storm to reduce the threat of pests and unwanted wildlife, including:

  • Repair any existing home damage before the door
  • Clean your gutters and remove debris from your roof
  • Ensure adequate drainage on your property
  • Ensure proper ventilation in your basement or crawlspace
  • Have professionals remove dead trees and threatening limbs

Even if you prepare as well as possible, you still may face increased pest activity after tropical weather. Rid-A-Bug is ready to help you with unwanted extermination services for unwanted pests and humane wildlife removal. We are typically able to take care of the problem within 24-hours of your call. When tropical weather brings the pests inside, contact Rid-A-Bug to get them out.

More in this category: 6 Common Late Summer Pests  »