Hurricane season in Southwest Florida is from the beginning of June through November, but peaks from early August to the end of October. ‘Tis the season for strong winds, heavy rains, flooding — and more pests! Standing water, downed trees, and other conditions force insects and wildlife to seek higher ground and safer shelter, and there’s a good chance it could be your house. Read on to learn how you can prevent pests this hurricane season.
Tip #1: Remove Sources of Standing Water To Stop Mosquitoes
When it’s safe to go outside, check your property for hidden items with standing water that can become easy breeding sites for mosquitoes. Look for and empty:
- Clogged Gutters
- Bird Baths
- Flower Pot Saucers
- Pet Bowls
- Garbage Cans and Lids
Tip #2: Dispose of Rotting or Spoiled Food To Prevent Flies
Long power outages from bad weather can lead to food spoiling in your refrigerator and freezer. This can attract maggots and flies that can contaminate food and expose your family to disease. Dispose of any spoiled food immediately, preferably in a sealed trash bag in an outdoor garbage can.
Tip #3: Eliminate Excessive Moisture To Avoid Termite and Ant Infestations
Heavy rains and flooding can saturate the soil in your yard and lead insects living underground to find a better place to live. You may notice more ants in your home during hurricane season or discover a termite colony in an area of your house that’s been damaged by moisture. When the bad weather has passed, inspect your property and use these simple solutions to remedy excessive moisture:
- Check the grading to make sure water is flowing away from the foundation of your home and fix if need be.
- Empty clogged gutters to eliminate the buildup of water near your house.
- Remove leaf litter, fallen branches and other debris that can harbor pests.
- Fix leaking pipes that may have been damaged during recent storms.
Tip #4: Seal Your Home To Stop Palm Rats
Fallen or storm damaged trees can displace wildlife, especially palm rats or roof rats, and force them to find shelter elsewhere. You can protect your home by mending any damage that may allow these pests to gain entry. Look for damaged roofing, eaves, soffit and siding and fix as soon as possible. Seal any gaps around windows and doors and make sure screens are in good condition. Even vents should be screened to keep pests out. Make sure the openings where pipes and utility lines enter the building are sealed so pests can’t sneak through. Also, check the area where your roll-down hurricane shutters are stored above the window because that’s a prime place where palm rats like to hide. An easy solution for stopping palm rats and nuisance wildlife is to have exclusion work done on your home.
Tip #5: Get A Complete Home Inspection
Having a licensed pest management professional inspect your home during hurricane season is a great way to identify pest problems before they spiral out of control. These experts can spot conducive conditions, early signs of pests problems, and offer solutions about how to manage pests.
We hope these tips help you stay pest-free this hurricane season!
Photo Credit: Marcelo/Public Domain Images