In South Florida, the summers mean a lot of rain which leads to more pests found in the home. While South Florida’s warm and humid climate attracts many pests to the area, summer storms and increased rainfall caused by tropical systems and hurricanes can upend picnics, backyard BBQs, and other outdoor events. Additional rain can also send ants, roaches, yellow jackets, and other bugs that make their home underground running for higher ground. Pests will often enter homes near their flooded nests to survive until their nests dry out, through small cracks and crevices in your foundation or perhaps under garage doors that don’t close securely. Once inside your home, some pests may find your home more desirable than their nests outside. This can cause pest infestations if left unchecked.
Building their nests over shallow burrows with underground tunnel systems, ant colonies can flood out easily. During periods of heavy rainfalls and flooding, ants need more than the cover of trees to survive. Seeking higher ground, ants head for your house for shelter. While waiting for the ground to dry out, ants forage in your home for food. When ants find a plentiful source of sugary and/or greasy foods in your home, they might decide to hang around and infest your home. Most ants live in the ground outside your home, so while they will rebuild their nests once the soil dries out, ants will still try to come into your home seeking food.
Can’t get rid of ants?
Even after ants move into their new nests in the ground outside, they will continue to forage for food in your kitchen. This makes it nearly impossible to get rid of ants – your home is their food source. To eliminate ants in your yard, contacting a professional pest control company, such as Petri Pest Control Services is required. Our certified technicians are trained to strategically place baits that will attract ants that then transport the bait back to their nests, distributing it throughout the colony, eventually killing the queen, destroying the colony.
Fortunately, fire ants generally avoid humans, build their mounds in open spaces in your yard have adapted to their nests flooding by banding together to form a raft, with the queen and her babies on top of the raft. Then, fire ants float around until the ground dries out enough to allow them to build new mounds – they’re not going anywhere.
Resilient and fast, cockroaches thrive in humid conditions, so rainy weather presents no problem for them. The exception to that rule applies to periods of heavy rainfall and flooding, as cockroaches may be driven from their homes in sewers and drains in search of shelter. Coming in through cracks in your foundation, through the dishwasher and other appliance drains, cockroaches find shelter under refrigerators and in bathrooms. Roaches can present some health issues for humans, including triggering acute asthma attacks in children. Additionally, cockroaches are capable of transmitting microbes including potentially dangerous human pathogens. Cockroaches have been tied to the spread of 33 strains of bacteria that include E.coli and Salmonella, six parasitic worms, and seven other types of human pathogens, according to a PestWorld.org article.
Cockroach Infestations – What can you do?
When cockroaches find a source of water and damp conditions, after water levels recede, they might decide to stay in your home and multiply. Cockroaches reproduce rapidly and potentially, one female German cockroach and her offspring could produce 300,000 roaches in one year. Infestations can get out of hand before you know you have a cockroach infestation, as cockroaches scavenge for food nocturnally and live under appliances and inside of walls. Once you see one cockroach, that’s a good indication that more are lurking nearby – many more. Calling a professional pest control company to address the issue is your best bet to get rid of your roach problem as quickly as possible.
Wasps, such as yellow jackets, can move around more freely in dry, hot weather. Rainy weather can not only affect their abilities to move around, but extended periods of rain and summer downpours can also impact their lives more profoundly, as yellow jackets tend to build their nests in holes in the ground, under your sidewalk, or your porch stairs, in areas ripe for flooding. Yellow jackets, driven from their nests can display aggressive behaviors. This can pose a major threat to humans and pets if yellow jackets seek shelter in your home or garage. Yellow jackets will sting humans and pets they feel threatened by and will swarm if provoked, causing major problems if they build nests in your home.
While subterranean termites need dampness to survive, too much rain can threaten subterranean termites’ nests. These pests, instead of moving to higher ground, tend to go into an immobile state during heavy rains and flooding to conserve oxygen. Termites can survive from 19 to 30 hours in this state, depending on the species of termite. Subterranean termites cannot survive in underground galleries or wood, once these locations are submerged in water. Termites can drown because they don’t attempt to move out of their underground tunnels to escape rising waters.
Termites in Trees
However, subterranean termites that may be living in trees at the time of heavy rainfall, or termites living in wood that rises with the water levels, can survive above ground during storms. Also, heavy rainfall and especially flooding can damage your home’s foundation or footing, allowing termites easy access to your home.
How to Prevent Insects from Entering Your Home
During rainy periods or dry cycles, proactive homeowners can prevent pests from entering their homes by taking a few precautionary steps. Keep your home clean – while you might think your home is clean, it takes diligence to keep pests from finding your home attractive, by:
- Wiping down all food prep and dining areas after each snack or meal
- Vacuuming or sweeping floors in food prep and dining areas after each snack or meal
- Cleaning all dishes after each meal and not allowing dishes to accumulate in the sink
- Using tightly sealed trash receptacles and keeping your outside trash receptacles clean and sanitized
- Storing leftover food in the fridge
- Storing dry goods in metal, glass, or hard plastic containers in your pantry
- Eliminating clutter
- Sealing all cracks and crevices in your foundation and around all entryways
To protect your home from pests during any season in South Florida, Petri Pest Control Services offers baits and treatments that stop pests where infestations begin – at the perimeter of your property. Serving South Florida from our Pompano and Boynton Beach locations, we want to be your local neighborhood pest control company. Offering affordable and effective solutions for home and business owners, come rain or come shine, contact Petri Pest Control for a FREE pest inspection!
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