Hurricanes have always been a common sight in the United States with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) marking most years as having a high probability for near- or above-normal hurricane activity. As a result, homeowners need to prep up their homes in the proper manner to counter the threat of these often-devastating natural disasters.
Bunkering down and reinforcing the windows always sit at the top of the priority list before the season of extreme weather kicks in. However, other risks – largely the menace of pests – continue to exist long after the storm passes you by. Standing water and uprooted trees often force many insect species to seek a safe shelter on higher ground and that often brings them straight to your homes.
Combatting the pest menace
To be combat-ready for battling this possible spike in unwanted little guests at your home during the days and weeks that follow a hurricane, here are some pest prevention tips that you can follow.
Put in some more shoulder to your pre-storm efforts at pest control
There are always reports of a potential hurricane on the ground before the giant rolls in. You need not to wait for the notifications to arrive. Run a thorough inspection of the interior as well as the exterior of your home to identify possible structural issues and address the same. In the impending storm, these could potentially worsen and allow pests easy access into your homes after the hurricane strikes.
- Use a silicon-based caulk to seal the cracks and fix all existing water damages. Your household property should ideally be sloped to allow stormwater to flow away from the foundation instead of going towards it.
- Ensure that mulches, garbage cans, and other possible pest breeding sites are placed as far away from the house as possible to prevent unwanted pest menace.
Do not allow water stagnation to prevent mosquito influx
Heavy rains and flooding that typically accompany every storm may seem capable of wiping out any existing family of mosquitoes in the area, but they also come with a downside – the standing water that is left behind acts as the perfect breeding ground for these bloodsucking pests. Half an inch of water is enough for the mosquitoes to breed so as a homeowner you need to address the standing water sources.
- Some obvious places can accumulate stormwater – lids, garbage cans, grill covers, clogged gutters, flowerpots, and bird baths.
- Drain out and empty these receptacles to prevent a mosquito population from thriving in your very backyard.
Damaged debris and tainted food attract rodents and flies – Get rid of them
Extended power outages following a storm can lead to food in the home getting spoiled, and this becomes a welcome sight for the flies. These pests used rotting food for breeding which exposes your family members to the threat of potential diseases. If you have any spoiled food lying around the house, put it in a sealed trash bag and deposit it outside the house to avoid attracting unwanted flies.
- Clutter and food waste also lure rodents that need food and shelter, having been displaced by the storm. Therefore, it is critical for you to ensure that all the discarded food gets collected timely by the sanitation workers.
- When a natural disaster strikes, sanitation workers often give priority to common garbage rather than issuing construction debris.
- As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to keep these materials sorted so that trash gets picked up early and organized debris can be left piled far away from your home.
Assess potential water damage to prevent ant and termite infestations
Water damage leads wood to rot, and this invites troublesome termites to your home. These pests are silent killers, chewing their way through anything wooden in your home and causing thousands of dollars’ worth of damage before you know it. When there is excessive moisture in the area surrounding your property, it leads to soil oversaturation and brings underground insects such as ants out and on to higher ground in search of shelter, preferably inside your home.
- To keep such threats at bay, remove any form of rotting debris around the home that could seem attractive to pests.
- Also, fix the damaged and leaking pipes and ensure the property slopes in the correct direction to prevent any water accumulation close to the foundation of your home.
Structural damage could leave behind possible openings – Check for them
Rain, hail, and high winds as a result of storms often damage homes while displacing wildlife in the vicinity. While the combination is unfortunate for the larger pests like squirrels, mice, rats, and raccoons, they often try to compensate by seeking shelter in your home.
Damaged soffits, sidings, and roofing are like welcome boards into your premises for the animals in search of a refuge. Check for exterior signs of damage to your home and fix the issues at the earliest. Also, seal down openings around doors and windows with steel wool and caulk as an additional barricade that keeps pests out of your home during the hurricane season.
Let a pest control professional run a thorough inspection of your property
If you are experiencing pest infestation in your home or suspect that something of the kind is taking place, it is advisable that you get in touch with a licensed professional for pest control. Find different New York City pest control services to cater to both indoor and outdoor pest control related job. The professional exterminator will run a thorough inspection of your property and help in developing the most thorough and comprehensive treatment plan. Opting for a professional assessment will allow certain unknown issues to be identified before things get out of hand.
Storms are a very unfortunate event that takes severe tolls on the local wildlife. While they are justified in trying to find a place for survival, it does not mean that you should open your doors and welcome them home. It would be a better solution to come together as a community and help rehabilitate them so that all involved can go home happy.