The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is already off to a strong start, and although the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is not predicting as many hurricanes for this year as we experienced in record-breaking 2020, it is expecting 6-10 Category 1 hurricanes and 3-5 Category 3 hurricanes this season. You’re likely already preparing your business for the wake of these storms; while you prepare, be sure pest control stays on your list.
During a storm, most pests will take cover—but in the aftermath, pests can become an issue for your property with the excess water and new entry points produced by the storm. These can leave your business vulnerable to pests as they come out of hiding.
Hurricane season is typically June through November, and since there is no way to prevent a storm from coming, now is the time to ensure you and your property are prepared for the worst. As you get ready for hurricane season, here are a few of the pests you should be prepared for:
- Mosquitoes: Hurricane season and mosquito season run simultaneously, which is less than ideal since mosquitoes thrive in warm weather and moisture, two of the top after-effects of hurricanes. Following a hurricane, moisture management is critical to help minimize pest pressure. These pests are first drawn to standing water on your property, and then become attracted to body heat and exhaled carbon dioxide—making people in and around your business a target. Protecting your people from the health threats mosquitoes can cause is critical, especially as they manage the stress of a hurricane.
- Rats: These pests are surprisingly good swimmers, meaning the water surge can relocate them to your business. Rats are constantly in search of food, water and shelter, and a big storm can cause structural damage and open new entry sites for these pests. If they get inside your business, they can cause further structural damage by chewing holes in walls and electrical wires.
- Flies: One of the filthiest pests around, house flies can become a post-hurricane problem due to displaced trash and organic debris. Known to breed quickly and spread disease by leaving potentially hazardous germs everywhere they land, these pests can easily grow out of hand. And in the wake of a storm, contaminated food supplies can cause even more stress or illness.
Hurricane damage can be catastrophic, and the last thing you need to worry about is a pest problem on your property. Before a storm, inspect your property and work with your vendors to ensure your property is safe from the start. Once a storm hits, inspect your property again and work quickly to remove any standing water and food sources that may lead pests to your property.
While we can’t stop Mother Nature, you and your pest control provider can work together to create a plan and quickly address the damage left in a hurricane’s aftermath. The right provider will implement an effective Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan that will help protect your business from pest populations before and after a hurricane makes landfall.
For more pest management tips to follow after hurricanes—and other severe weather conditions, like temperature extremes and tornadoes—download our guide to Extreme Weather and Pests.
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