Most households will experience a pest problem from time to time. These problems rarely compare to the swarms of insects that invade houses during a flood to evade the rising waters. Worse, they tend to stay even when the water has receded. There is always an increase in pest animals in the area once the amount of food and scraps left in the street has increased – typically seen after a flood. Damage continues to be done well after the flood and there are several ways to deal with it, however hard it may be. The health risks during and after a flood are amplified by the appearance of pests and those who live in frequently flooded areas should be aware of this. If this scenario occurs then you need to call professionals like Masters Pest Control Sydney for their pest control services before it’s too late.
Insects take refuge in homes during a flood, with no intentions of leaving their new home. Daily Mercury reported that cockroaches often reside in sewers and stormwater systems, and as they start to fill up at the beginning of the flood, cockroaches leave to find new homes in nearby buildings. The report said that pests often invade through construction joints and through plumbing underground. It also mentioned that ants search for higher ground up to two weeks before it rains and tend to like moderately moist areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. The Queensland Government’s Biosecurity points out on their Business Queensland website that after a natural disaster, ants may spread via the equipment used in restoration work and fodder distribution or via flood or cyclone debris. The moist environment provides the perfect atmosphere for breeding. The damage to pest animal exclusion fencing may also contribute to growth in pest animal populations after a flood. The Queensland Government’s Department of Agriculture and Fisherie provides an online list of pest animals declared under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002 and undeclared animals that have been identified as pests or potential pests such as foxes and rabbits.
There are many things to be done to prevent or handle an increase in pests after a flood. For ants, Biosecurity Queensland suggests checking for ants during clean-up activities and continuing to check for a longer period afterwards, cooperating with biosecurity officers to ensure regular eradication activities can be carried out and reporting the sightings of large groups of ants, particularly those suspected to be of an invasive species, such as fire ants, yellow crazy ants and electric ants. Homes should be checked thoroughly for pests particularly in popular breeding areas such as dark and moist cupboards, vents and pipelines.
Landowners also need to be aware of their responsibility to help reduce numbers of invasive animals in their area after a flood. Their properties should be checked and regularly monitored for new pest animal visits and sighting should be reported to the local government. If pest animals are spotted, depending on the size of the problem, one may choose to pursue pest control services. Choices include planned on going management for most pest problems, local eradication for “well-defined” pest problems and crisis management for seriously high numbers of pest appearances. Masters Pest Control Sydney specialise in various methods of pest control services, such as electronic pest control, organic pest control and natural pest control.
Floods have a large impact on people’s health with increased transmission of waterborne and vector-borne illnesses, generally decreased hygiene and unhealthy temperatures. The addition of a rapid increase in pests promotes illness and unhealthy living. Parasites such as ticks are included in the insects that will take refuge in buildings and increase the risk of illnesses such as tick fever for people and animals. This is particularly devastating in areas where parasite numbers were previously low, as many will not have developed immunities to these diseases, so those who have been bitten after a flood should consult a GP as soon as possible (unless there is a dramatic bodily response that requires emergency attention e.g. vomiting, fainting). The preventative measures suggested by the Queensland Government specifically for livestock are the dipping of stock in pesticide before or upon returning to properties (especially recommended for stock that has travelled far during the flood, as they are more likely to introduce new strains of parasites with unfamiliar diseases) and vaccination programs.
Infestations greatly decrease the quality of recovery life after floods and cause stress particularly to those who do not prepare for the sudden rise in pest numbers before during and after floods. Pests not only endanger the health of people in the homes and intrudes upon businesses, but causes significant damage to the ecosystem and to farmers. It is unlikely that pests after flooding will become less of a problem any time soon, but by preparing ways to limit the spread and survival of these pests, those who live in known flood-zones can achieve comfort within a smaller amount of time.
For more information on how floods can increase pest activity, call Masters Pest Control Sydney on (02) 8007 4666.