Hurricane season brings with it widespread destruction and power outages. You may be surprised to learn that these same issues present often ideal conditions for insect pests.
Wet insulation, drywall, and carpeting
As we’ve discussed in a few pest-specific blog posts, excess moisture often leads to insect infestations. Fungus gnats and other small flies may find your wet drywall, insulation, and carpeting to be ideal breeding grounds. These flies do not carry disease, but they can reach large population numbers quickly. Exacerbating this fly problem is the fact that many homes will suffer window or door damage in a storm, creating openings for adult flies to enter the home and lay eggs. Additionally, doors and windows are often opened to keep the home cool without working air conditioning or to provide ventilation to dry the home’s interior. If possible, only open windows or doors with intact screens to reduce fly entry.
As perishable food in refrigerators and freezer begins to spoil after an extended power loss, filth flies begin to become a problem. These flies deposit their eggs in decaying matter, which will become a food source for the developing maggots once the eggs hatch. Common filth flies include blow flies and house flies.
Keep in mind that discarded food will also spoil and attract these flies. Once the weather is clear, cook what you can with a grill or outdoor camp stove, for example, before it spoils (see the FDA’s website for food spoilage guidelines) and discard the rest in a trashcan. Make sure all food is contained in trash bags that are tightly tied once full. Double bag if possible. Move the trashcan to the curb, away from your home and cover it tightly with a lid.
Standing water in your yard may lead to an increase in mosquito numbers. Soaked leaf litter, like wet insulation, may be an attractive egg-laying site for fungus gnats. Again, if possible, only open windows or doors with intact screens to reduce the number of mosquitoes and fungus gnats entering your home from your yard.
If you are facing some extreme weather-related insect problems, give us a call. These unique issues require unique control measures that should be handled by professionals.