Storms & Flooding Cause Unusual Pest Problems for Homeowners
April showers bring May flowers, but summer rainstorms bring flash floods. One of the most regular and damaging natural distaters, floods can cause a number of pest problems for businesses and homeowners. Fire ants, rats, wasps, and flies are some of the pests that are commonly delt with after flooding.
Here are some common pest problems you can expect to see after flooding:
1. Floating Fire Ants
The streets aren't the only places that get flooded, so do the underground nests of ant colonies. When severe storms cause flooding, water flushes hundreds, if not thousands of ants out of their nest. Looking for the closest dry ground, ants often end up invading your home. A particularly incredible phenomenon, fire ant colonies will cling together and float on top of floodwaters. If you live in an area where fire ants are prevalent, as seen in Houston following Hurricane Harvey, be careful of these floating fire ants — touching it can lead to painful bites and stings.
A floating colony of fire ants. Photo credit: Junglecat
2. Sewer Rats
After heavy rain, flooding often causes sewers to back up. Rats nesting in a city sewer system are forced to evacuate to higher ground, much like ants. As the floodwaters build up around your home, the water can expand cracks in your foundation, making it easier for mice and rats to make their way into your basement or walls.
After the floodwaters recede, you may notice an unusual amount of wasps hovering around your lawn and bushes. Soil-loving grubs that escaped to the surface during the flooding are an easy meal for these predatory insects.
4. Filth Flies
In addition to forcing sewer rats out of their nesting areas, overflowed sewer systems will cause filth flies to swarm. Attracting large numbers of flies, the rotting organic material deposited throughout the streets and yards act as a perfect place for the flies to lay their eggs.