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Storms and Pest: Check List for Pest Control in the Greater Austin Area

Pest Control | October 7, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Pests

Following storms, especially those that have high winds and lots of rain there is an increased risk of pest invasion. After hurricanes, many critters are also displaced and frantic to find a warm place to call home. It is not uncommon to see mice and rats around homes after heavy rains or even large mammals such as raccoons. In the wake of major destruction, such as with Hurricane Harvey there is often a pileup of debris such as downed trees, housing material and an increase in standing water. All those occurrences are an open invitation for pests to move in with you.

What You Can Do to Deter Pests

The biggest thing to do and often the most difficult following hurricane grade storms is to keep your yard free of clutter and debris. Small animals only need a small amount of clutter to make a home. So focus on cleaning up:

  • Fallen trees and brush
  • Leaves
  • Piles of wood such as lumber
  • Clutter such as recycling

Pests Have Basic Needs: Insects, rodents, birds, and mammals are all looking for basic needs – shelter and food. By focusing on removing those necessities, you do a lot to deter pest issues after big storms. Insects are another issue, and they will also happily make their home inside your house. Two of the largest gateways for insects are doors and windows. You can stop the invasion by making sure that the window screens on your home are in good repair. The Texas sun is brutal, and it degrades window screens quickly. In large storms, screens can become torn or even blow away completely. When it comes to doors, make sure that the screen doors are in good shape and that they form a snug fit when shut. You can add insulation or weather stripping in some cases.

Those are easy fixes and each help to keep pests from moving in with you. There are other things you can do to help keep pests out of your yard and home. Birds, wasps, bats, squirrels, and smaller mammals love attic spaces. These are often warm, dry, and quiet. Soffit vents are an easy point of entry into attics, so as you inspect your home for damage, pay close attention to the soffit vents. There are usually built into the eaves and should always have a screen cover over them. Make sure the screen is in good repair. Also, give the roof a good look. Make sure to remove any debris on the roof and if necessary clean the gutters. It’s that time of year!

When to Call a Pest Control Professional

Dealing with Ground Pests: Ground pests include snakes, rats, mice, and ground squirrels. Nothing harms a home faster than a colony of ground squirrels tunneling under your foundation. Ground squirrels are well known to cause expensive and significant damage to homes. Make sure to monitor your home and the area around your home, especially around the foundation. Look for fresh signs of digging or burrow where an animal might gain access to the underside of your home. There is not much for the DIY person to do at this point that does not create a safety issue. The best bet is to call our professionals so that we can deal with the problem for you. Our team has the experience and expertise to handle wild animal removal in your attic, under your house, or around your yard. We offer human methods, including live traps and relocation as the first line of options.

Reach out to us with all your pest control questions or to schedule an appointment.

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