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Insects and Flooding: What to Expect After a Flood


In coastal areas in the Southern United States, flooding is an unfortunate part of life. Hurricanes, the humid semi-tropical climate and low-lying areas along the ocean create optimal conditions for flooding. When a flood event happens, most people are focused on property damage and don’t give any thought to how flooding influences pest control. Flood waters can wash away pest control treatments that have been applied along the foundation of your home, as well as any pest control treatments used in any areas of your home that experience water damage. Knowing what to expect after a flood helps you protect your home and your family from pest issues.

Perhaps the biggest threat to human health following a flood are mosquitoes. Standing water that occurs following a flood is an optimal breeding ground for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes carry and transmit a number of illnesses, including West Nile Virus, Chikungunya, several types of Encephalitis (viral infection that attacks the brain and central nervous system), Zika virus and recent studies have indicated some species of mosquito may also be vectors for Lyme disease. To protect yourself and your family, address any areas of standing water on your property, empty bird baths, dump out containers such as recycling bins or trash bins that have collected water and be sure to wear long sleeves and pants as well as mosquito repellent when outside during peak mosquito activity times (dawn and dusk).

Wet and moldy household debris as well as spoiled food from refrigerators and pantries provide ideal conditions for various types of flies like blow flies and house flies to step up their breeding efforts. The molds and organic matter make great food for growing fly larvae (maggots) to thrive on. Many people see flies as a minor annoyance, however, flies can transmit and spread illness – more than 100 disease-causing organisms are associated with the common house fly! The most common illnesses spread by flies are diarrheal illnesses. Protect your family by disposing of damaged and moldy household items (rugs, etc.) quickly and removing from your property promptly. Spoiled food should be tied up tightly in quality trash bags or stored in well-sealed trash containers until trash pick-up.

Flooding can wash away previous termite treatment applied along the foundation of your home, among other anti-termite measures. Following a flood, you will want to schedule your termite prevention provider to come out to reapply necessary treatments and also, as a best practice, inspect for any signs of termite infestation that may have been enabled by flood conditions. Termites love moist dark environments like crawl spaces that can take in water during flood events. As one of the most common and costly sources of damage to your home, always have your pest service technician out to your home following a flood to ensure on-going protection against termites.

Flooding events produce standing water and create damage in the home that can provide optimal conditions for common insect pests to thrive and reproduce more effectively. The best way to combat the impact of insect activity after a flood is to find and address these conditions before bugs can take advantage of them. When in doubt, have your pest control expert from The Pest Force come out to help you locate and remedy pest-friendly flood-caused conditions.