Residents of Houston and the surrounding areas are no strangers to flooding. Flooding is almost synonymous with everyday life in the Houston metro area, earning the Texas city the title of “America’s Flood Capital.” Although flooding brings damage to homes, roads and buildings, floods can have another consequence that most people don’t think of: increased pest activity. Here are some common pest issues that you may encounter after a flood.

 

Mosquitoes

Mosquitos are already a huge problem in Texas without flood waters. Introduce flooding into the mix and mosquito populations can run wild.  Mosquitoes usually breed around stale, standing water. After a flood, there will be standing water everywhere, increasing the rate at which mosquitoes breed. To help keep the post-flood mosquito population in check, get rid of any standing water in kiddie pools, garbage cans, and other places where water can easily pool.

mosquito drinks human blood on green background

 

Ants

When flood waters are introduced into ant colonies, they are forced to find shelter elsewhere. Forming a tight group, ants create floating colonies to survive. Unfortunately, they usually end up relocating into areas that become problematic for you and your family. Even if a colony of floating ants doesn’t make direct contact with your home or yard during a flood, the aftermath of a flood can place colonies of ants near enough that over time, can create an infestation. If you have noticed increased ant activity after one of Houston’s floods, give us a call and we will make sure those ants are taken care of.

Close up of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) or simply RIFA

 

Cockroaches

Usually found in sewers, flood waters will flush out (no pun intended) cockroaches from the sewers and will send them scattering through your Houston neighborhood. These germ and disease carrying pests are bad enough without flooding, but when you introduce a drastic change to their environment with flooding, cockroaches tend to seek out dry refuge in your home. The most common cockroaches in southern Texas are German cockroaches and American cockroaches. Both of these cockroaches are fast moving and breed incredibly quickly.

Close up a cockroach on white cupboard in the kitchen

 

Rodents

Just like ants and cockroaches, flood waters push rodents out of their natural habitat, forcing them to find a new place to live. Your basement and wall voids provide a perfect place for rodents to nest, giving them warmth and plenty of food. Here in the Houston metro area, the most common rats you will find are Norway rats, or roof rats. The crazy thing is, rats and mice only need a ½ inch wide space to be able to get inside of your home. The best thing to do is fill all of the holes on the exterior of your home or to cover them with tightly woven mesh.

Gray Roof Rat in a puddle