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How floods impact pest behaviour and how to minimise the risks

Flooding can be devastating for home owners and business owners alike, submerging properties, closing roads, risking injury or death and forcing entire towns and suburbs to vacate. Pests also become more of a hazard and concern during periods of heavy flooding with pest activity also posing a threat to human health and wellbeing. So how can flooding impact pest behaviour and what can you do to minimise the risk?

Floods – Rodents (Rats & Mice)

Rodents are a significant nuisance in Australia and are carriers of many harmful diseases. To avoid rodent infestation after a flood:

  • Remove food and items that can provide shelter for rodents
  • Wash dishes and cooking utensils immediately after use
  • Get rid of garbage and debris as soon as possible by placing it into a rubbish bin with a lid prior to collection and disposal
  • Lay rodent baits or traps in dry areas, following the label directions and keep them out of reach of children and animals

Floods - Mosquitoes

As flooding subsides, pooling of water can occur. Stagnant water provides mosquitoes with the ideal breeding ground and may cause a significant increase in mosquito numbers 
Unfortunately, mosquitoes can carry diseases that can be passed on to people through mosquito bites. This includes diseases such as Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus, and on rare occasions Murray Valley Encephalitis virus, Japanese Encephalitis or Kunjin virus. To minimise the risk of mosquito activity and avoid the impact of mosquito bites:

  • Cover up as much as possible. Wear long, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing including socks and covered shoes. 
  • Use an effective mosquito repellent 
  • Remove any objects that could contain stagnant water outside and around your property (children's toys, wellington boots, plant holders)
  • Change your pet’s drinking water bowls regularly 
  • Fly screens are an effective tool to minimise the risk of mosquitoes entering your property
  • Use mosquito coils, 'knockdown' sprays, or plug in "zapper" vaporisers in small, outdoor areas. 

Floods - Flies 

If properties have lay vacant or inaccessible during flooding, decaying food and garbage builds up, this becomes a breeding ground for flies. This is a problem, as flies carry diseases and are a nuisance. To avoid this, clean up food waste as soon as possible when safe to return to the property by placing it into a rubbish bin with a tightened secure lid prior to collection and disposal.

Have or suspect a pest problem?

Remember, pest prevention is easier than cure. If you have any concerns regarding ongoing pest activity, increased presence or possible infestation, it may be time to bring in the experts. If you have any concerns get, contact us today.

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