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Experts warn heavy rain can cause a pest invasion

Pest control experts said they’ve been working overtime and this year has been busier than others.

TAMPA, Fla. — Rodents, roaches and even ants!  It was a trifecta of troubles for one Tampa Bay area restaurant shut down by state health inspectors last week.  Sabor a Mexico on East Brandon Boulevard was just one of the restaurants shut down last week due to critters in the kitchen. The restaurant had other violations, but experts said the problems with pests might not entirely be the restaurant’s fault.

10News observed an increase in emergency closures, especially after major rain events like tropical storms or hurricanes. 

Even with all the rain that's been experienced across Tampa Bay this week, pest control experts said they’ve seen an uptick in calls.

“With the amount of rain that we’ve had, their habitat may have been destroyed,” Daniel Grimsley, branch manager for the Terminix Tampa office said.  “They’ll start to look for something inside your wall or something inside your attack to create their own new little home.”

It’s not just roaches.   

Experts said the same thing happens with mice and rats when their homes get flooded out.  Ants also come to the surface trying to save their eggs from drowning.

The biggest problem seems to be with cockroaches here in Florida. Specifically, it's the American Cockroach or Palmetto Bug, the Oriental Cockroach and even the Australian Cockroach.  

Pest control experts said they’ve been working overtime and this year. They said has been busier than past rainy seasons.  While the insects living around homes are going to try to get inside, there are some things you can do to at least help keep them out.

“Your drier vents that you have, you’re going to want to make sure you’re putting cages on those or flaps,”  Grimsley said. “Rodents or roaches will crawl into these and get into your house when you’re not using them because there is no pressure to keep them out.”

Experts also suggest keeping your garbage cans clean and sealed up when they’re outside.  Also, check to make sure there are no roaches in the can if you’re trying to bring it back inside.

Lastly, check the seals around the garage and even your front door because experts said it only takes a tiny opening for even larger critters like mice and rats to get inside.

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