Winter rains can send pests scurrying for shelter, probably even making their way into your home where it’s dry and cozy.
On one hand, insects and other little critters nesting outside might suddenly find themselves displaced and wet when rain showers come down. And then heavy rains might also have strong winds that can give trees a good shake, cause flooding or landslides, and even damage your home and property in some extreme cases.
In some cases, the wind and rains can even loosen roof shingles or sidings, damage weatherstripping or caulking, or otherwise create gaps where pests enter your home seeking shelter.
Here are five pests that might decide to make their way into your home when it starts raining in California.
Ants are notorious at invading homes especially after a bit of rainfall, particularly when their nests become flooded, forcing them to enter buildings seeking food and water, warmth and shelter, and refuge from the sudden downpour.
When inside, ants will seek out sugar, syrup, honey, fruit juice, fats, and meat. In fact, you’ll find hundreds or thousands of ants that will march their way from their newly-established indoor nest to food sources, or you may just find a few scouts looking for food or places to nest.
Cockroaches tend to nest in and around dark, humid corners such as your basement or dens near drainage pipes and sewers. When the rains flood these areas, you can expect these roaches to swarm out and immediately seek shelter.
Resilient and sneaky, cockroaches will prefer to find safety in your bathroom, your kitchen, and other crawl spaces where they can find moisture and scavenge nearby locations for food.
Remember, pests like roaches or rats don’t need a lot of space to squeeze into your home. You’ll likely find roof rats making their way into your home through openings in your roof or Norweigan rats looking for a new nest after the old one is flooded by the rains.
Rats are particularly dangerous not only because they can carry diseases, but also because they can gnaw on furniture or wiring and cause serious damage to property.
Rains this season can also bring out swarms of termites. While they normally come out in the fall, sometimes the stronger rains might shake off some nesting in your roof or attic, especially if you have lots of wood up there.
In California, termites start out from subterranean nests, then some break away to form new colonies nearby, usually looking for other nearby decaying wood matter to start a new nest. If your home, in particular, has exposed wood, termites might see that as an invitation to start a new colony without you knowing it.
Storms are particularly bad for yellow jackets, which tend to build their burrows in hollows in the ground, like a hole in the soil, or a nest under the stairs. So when the rains come, they’re forced to find shelter– usually entering your garage or a shed.
The problem is, yellow jackets can get quite territorial and aggressive, causing a problem when you start unwittingly rummaging around close to their new nests.
A Final Word About Pests
This rainy season, before pests even have a chance to invade your home, be proactive and start pest-proofing your property ahead of time.
Make a quick inspection around your home and secure possible entry points where you think they might decide to squeeze into. Seal off gaps with caulking and other weather-proofing agents. Watch out for signs of pests that may have moved in, such as ant trails, termite wings, or gnawed furniture.
Lastly, if you feel like you’ll need help making sure you have no pests lurking around your home after it rains, don’t hesitate to give your local pest control professionals a call. You’ll want to have them do a thorough inspection and assessment for some of the more common pests before you find yourself in the middle of a full-blown infestation.