Following record-setting flooding, residents of South Carolina may experience a spike in home pest invasions, reports the National Pest Management Association(NPMA).
Due to excessive moisture build-up and population displacement, NPMA warns of a rise in pest populations in the coming weeks and months.
South Carolina has been hit with what South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called a “thousand-year rainfall.” Places such as Mount Pleasant received more than 24 inches of rainfall, and Charleston saw almost 20 inches, according to CNN.
Concern grows over the following pests:
Mosquitoes: Standing water is a major issue in the aftermath of a flood, as it provides the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. Residents should apply an insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus when spending time outdoors to minimize the chance of being bit by a mosquito.
Flies: Filth flies are attracted to spoiled food items and overflowing sewage, both of which are common in the wake of a flood. Sanitation is crucial to prevent a fly infestation in the home.
Rodents: Rising waters force rodents nesting in sewer systems to seek refuge on higher ground. The delay in garbage pickup that many areas might experience from the flooding can attract rodents to the property. Homeowners should store trash in sealed plastic receptacles until clean up is finished.
Termites: Any wood that may have come in contact with water will be a magnet for termites. Homeowners in flooded areas should contact a licensed pest control professional to inspect their properties for signs of termite damage.
Ants: Red imported fire ants form a ball that acts as a raft to survive floodwaters. People should be aware of these floating islands to avoid accidentally disturbing a nest, which could result in painful bites.