During an April downpour insects are the last thing on the mind. But as soon as the clouds clear and the sun comes back out, the hum of bugs seems to be louder than it was before.
Wet, rainy climates are the perfect environment for many insects because moisture aids development. Some bugs aren’t active while it’s raining, but they’ll be out in full force to take advantage of the weather as soon as it stops. Here are a few ways rain can make pest problems worse and what to do about it.
Standing Water Gives Mosquitoes a Breeding Ground
One of the biggest pest problems associated with spring showers is mosquitoes. They are so well adapted to wet climates mosquitoes can fly in the rain while other insects have to seek shelter.
Pesky mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, but they only need an inch of it to start the reproduction process. Worse still is how quickly those eggs will hatch and mature. In as little as 24 hours eggs will turn into larvae, and in about a week they’ll enter the short pupal stage before becoming an adult.
As soon as the rain has passed, do an assessment outside. Eliminate any standing water that’s collected in planters, low spots in the yard, etc. Check around the gutters and make sure they’re working properly so the next time there’s a rainstorm water will drain properly. Check out our previous post on controlling mosquitoes for more tips.
Moisture = Wood Damage = Termites
Termites love wood, but their absolute favorite snack is water-damaged wood because it’s easy to chew through. Colonies have been known to seek out and target the parts of a home or deck that are waterlogged and weakened. Walk around the perimeter of your home and look for discolored or rotted spots. Pay careful attention to the fascia around the roofline, the underside of decks and around the foundation.
Rain Encourages Vegetation Growth
We gardeners want our plants to grow, but bountiful blooming flowers and vegetables can attract the wrong attention. April showers ultimately increase the food source for many garden pests. Rain also increases the moisture content in plants, which is a water source for some insects. In addition to beneficial honeybees and butterflies, you may notice more destructive pests like slugs, snails and aphids after it rains.
A Rainy Season Allows Bugs to Get Bigger
Because food sources are abundant after a shower, a good rainy season is often marked by larger bugs. Entomologists have noted that warm, moist climates are ideal for insect growth and development. That means after a wet spring you’re more likely to see insects that are larger in size and number.
Ants Will Be Looking for Dry Ground
Ground-dwelling ants can handle a light shower no problem, but when it pours they’ll have to search for higher ground. Heavy rain can easily flood an ant nest, leaving the colony homeless. Many times the dry spot they find is inside a person’s home. Carefully sealing around the doors, windows and foundation can eliminate ant access points into your home.
If you’ve noticed more pests after the April showers Vulcan Termite and Pest Control Inc. can help. Our technicians do a complete evaluation inside and out before creating custom pest control treatments that eliminate infestations fast. We also offer specialized mosquito control and termite control services for residential and commercial properties in Central Alabama.