During hurricane season and periods of heavy rains, Florida becomes a battleground in the fight to keep cockroaches, millipedes, ants, termites, earwigs, spiders and other bugs out of homes. This has been very evident along the Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches in the wake of the drenching rains from September’s Hurricane Dorian.
The reasons that bugs come out of the ground after a rain are very straightforward. When it rains, the holes and cracks in the ground in which they live fill up with rainwater. So, although you may only rarely see bugs outside most of the time, you will see hundreds of them after a day of rain
Insects don’t necessarily want live in your home; they prefer to live in the mulch around the exterior. But, once rain starts filling up areas around the exterior, they’ll go pretty much wherever they can find shelter: under leaves, inside knot holes in trees, along window frames, anywhere that will block the rain. It forces them up towards the home. So once you open the garage or an exterior door, they are inclined to scurry in, usually unnoticed, and look for new places to hide.
Following a heavy rain, bees, ants and termites – which all live in social caste colonies – frequently swarm. When a colony gets too crowded, a new queen will be developed and hundreds of winged reproductive forms will emerge looking for a new home. Bees are usually temporary visitors and often disappear in a few days, but you’ll want to keep an eye out for both them and termites. Termites will break their wings off and disappear into a crack or crevice, so be on the lookout for wings lying around.
Ants are usually the first to be noticed. On their way into your home, they leave a scent trail that allows them to return to the nest after the sun comes out and dries up all the rain. Rain affects individual ant species in different ways. Carpenters ants hide in the attics, ripping pieces of woods from support beams to build nests. Feral ants, meanwhile, set up colonies around the kitchen area. These ants, which are small enough to be compared to dust particles, are able to squeeze into small crevices, including electrical sockets, and create a colony for thousands of ants. Fire ants kick their nest building skills into high gear after a rainstorm, so your lawn is also an area of concern.
What can you do to prevent this invasion? Keep cracks and crevices sealed homes as tightly as possible with a flexible sealant. Clear gutters of debris to eliminate potential breeding grounds. And after a solid rain, immediately clear all mulch and debris from porches, patios and walkways. It can be a big challenge to figure out how insects and other annoying intruders can make their way into a home, but these steps may make the difference between a minor assault and a major invasion.
If you discover unwanted house guests, give Patrick Exterminating a call at 772-286-6812 or go to https://patrickexterminating.com/contact/ to schedule a no-obligation home pest inspection. We are experts on the habits of each of these intruders. We’ll send them packing and keep them way for good.
Sources: The Palm Beach Post, NBC, MRT, Orlando Sentinel, Google
Patrick Exterminating – Since 1988
Just Say No to Bugs!
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