The first storm of 2018, Eleanor, makes its presence felt on the west coast, leaving parts of Galway city flooded. Met Éireann had issued status orange and yellow wind warnings for Munster, Leinster, and Galway. Flooding and cold weather can cause big headaches, as well as pest infestation. Many families and businesses in affected areas are advised to avoid direct contact with floodwater and beware the invasion of the unwelcome pests into your property. Here are some common pest problems after the flood
Homes are subject to ant problems during and after flooding. When water flushes through the ground, thousands of ants try to move out of their nest and seek the closest dry ground, which can lead to ants invading your house. They often cling together to float around in the water and attach themselves to whatever is out of the water. Consequently, as floodwaters recede, your property may become heavily infested with garden ants.
How to tell if you have an ant problem
- Live insects – If you’re seeing large numbers of live insects then you may well have a problem. If you find them in your kitchen or in areas where you prepare food, then you need to do something about it fast.
- Ant pathways – In and out of your home or premises are another sign. Some types of ant will lay down a pheromone trail to a food source. This chemical attracts other ants to find the food.
- Ant nest – A nest site can look like a small pile of soil or dirt. Some species of ant like to make their home in walls or other quiet, dark places, which are more difficult to spot.
- Best ways to prevent an ant invasion
- How to get rid of ant quickly and effectively
- Effective ant control solutions for business
Like ants, after a storm or a flood, many rodents are forced from their natural habitat into areas that provide food and shelter such as our houses, sheds, barns, businesses and other buildings. Rodents, such as rats and mice, will try to escape to higher ground and warmer conditions, which could be your basement, walls or even your parked car. In extreme cases, rodent migration can pose serious health problems. You should beware the invasion of flood rats.
How to tell if you have a rat problem
- Rat Droppings – Tend to be found concentrated in specific locations as rats produce up to 40 droppings per night. Brown rat droppings are dark brown in a tapered, spindle shape – resembling a large grain of rice.
- Scratching Noises – Black rats in particular are agile climbers, earning them their common name – the roof rat. They can easily gain access into loft spaces and upper floors of buildings, so scratching noises at night may suggest their presence. Brown rats on the other hand, are less adept climbers and more likely to be identified by a grinding or chattering noise they make with their teeth known as bruxing – as they scurry under decking, sheds and floorboards.
- Footprints (running tracks) – Rats leave foot and tail marks in dusty, less-used areas of buildings. Shining a strong flashlight at a low angle should reveal tracks clearly. To establish if an infestation is active, sprinkle fine flour or talc along a small stretch of floor near the footprints and check for fresh tracks the next day.
- Rub Marks – Rats use established routes along skirting boards and walls due to their poor eyesight. Grease and dirt on their bodies leave smudges and dark marks on both objects and surfaces they repeatedly brush against. These marks may indicate rodent activity, but as smears may remain for a long period of time, they are not a good gauge of an active infestation.
- Burrows – Brown rats are well known for digging and excavating extensive burrow systems for shelter, food storage and nesting. They build burrows next to solid objects or structures (decking, garden sheds, garages etc.) and are also found in secluded, well vegetated areas such as gardens and wasteland.
- Difference between a rat and a mouse
- Beware the invasion of the flood rats
- How to prevent a rat infestation
- Best way to get rid of flood rat quickly
Flies and Cockroaches
Other problems after flooding or storms include flies and cockroaches. Floods can often cause sewer systems to overflow. The sewage will attract flies, which like to lay their eggs on rotting organic material. Cockroaches may seek to find warm, dry shelter at night after floods, and they can carry diseases, such as salmonella, into your home.
- How to prevent house flies
- How to get rid of flies on your property
- Common signs of cockroach infestations
- The health risk of cockroaches
- How to get rid of cockroaches
If you see any signs of rats, ants, flies or cockroaches, don’t hesitate to contact us at 1890 666 444 for immediate assistance.