Historic Flooding in South Carolina Raises Concerns of Potential Pest Problems

The National Pest Management Association warns of the likelihood of significant pest pressure in areas inundated by recent floods

FAIRFAX, Va. (October 27, 2015) – As South Carolina begins its slow recovery process from record-setting rainfall and subsequent massive flooding, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns of a possible uptick in pest populations in the coming weeks and months. Residents in hard-hit communities should expect to see an influx of pests – from mosquitoes and flies to rodents – in the wake of the storms.

“As the floodwaters begin to recede in South Carolina, storm-ravaged towns will likely experience a spike in home pest invasions due to excess moisture build-up and population displacement,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “The NPMA is closely monitoring the situation and working with local member companies to mitigate any potential health and property threats posed by the increase in pest pressure.”

The NPMA has identified the following pests that are of the utmost concern:

Mosquitoes: Standing water is a major issue in the aftermath of a flood, as it provides the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. Residents should apply an insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus when spending time outdoors to minimize the chance of being bit by a mosquito.

Flies: Filth flies are attracted to spoiled food items and overflowing sewage, both of which are common in the wake of a flood. This type of fly often lays its eggs in rotting organic material. Sanitation is crucial to prevent a fly infestation in the home.

Rodents: Rising waters force rodents nesting in sewer systems to seek refuge on higher ground. The delay in garbage pickup that many areas might experience from the flooding can attract rodents to the property. Homeowners should store trash in sealed plastic receptacles until clean up is finished.

Termites: Any wood that may have come in contact with water will be a magnet for termites. Homeowners in flooded areas should contact a licensed pest control professional to inspect their properties for signs of termite damage.

Ants: Red imported fire ants form a ball that acts as a raft to survive floodwaters. People should be aware of these floating islands to avoid accidentally disturbing a nest, which could result in painful bites.

  The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property. For more information, visit PestWorld.org.