In the aftermath of a hurricane, it’s natural to be concerned about flooding or structural damage, not bugs. However, plenty of unwanted pests can cause problems for Floridians after a storm. Just like people, insects and pests want to get out of the rain and moisture and in some cases, the destruction of their habitats.

The Orlando pest control experts at Apex recommends watching out for these pests in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. It’s important to add pest prevention to your hurricane-prep list to ensure you won’t be coming home to wildlife, ants, mosquitoes, and more taking over your home, in addition to other hurricane-related issues.

Ants are always a concern in Florida, but they can become a big hazard in flooded conditions. To survive flooding, ants cling together and form floating rafts. They can float for weeks on flood waters. Ants looking to escape the higher levels of water and wet soil are also likely to seek refuge in your home.

At first, floodwaters reduce mosquito populations. Unfortunately, this effect doesn’t last. Once the floodwaters become stagnant, they become the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. This lets the mosquito population rebound. More mosquitoes mean more potential for viruses like West Nile or Zika.

During post-storm cleanup, take precautions to protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, and insect repellant. To reduce mosquitoes, eliminate as much standing water as possible, like the water that collects in clogged gutters or containers.

Palmetto BugsPalmetto bugs (cockroaches) love damp environments. After a hurricane, damaged roof tiles or siding could allow water into normally dry areas of your home. This creates ideal areas for roaches to live, so they can invade new areas. Nearby flooding could also drive outdoor roaches into your home.

If you find yourself with a roach problem after a storm, clean up water damage to make your home less attractive to them. Insecticides are often necessary when you’re dealing with cockroaches, too.

Rodents are great swimmers. That means they’re well-equipped to seek dry shelter during hurricane conditions. Even minor storm damage can give rodents easy access to buildings. A rat can squeeze through a hole the size of a half dollar, while a mouse can get through a hole the size of a nickel!

After the storm passes, repair the damage to your home right away, even if it’s minor. Watch out for rodents. If you suspect you have a rodent problem, don’t hesitate to seek professional help since these pests can spread many diseases.

Unwanted pests can become a problem in the aftermath of a hurricane. If you discover any pest problems in your home during post-hurricane clean up, don’t hesitate to contact the Orlando pest control professionals at Apex.