How Storm Surges Lead To Pest Problems | Critter Control Tampa

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A neighborhood street is completely flooded, with trees, telephone poles, and a red stop sign reflected in its water.

Hurricanes and heavy rainstorms can cause millions of dollars in property destruction, but wind and water damage are far from the only concerns in the aftermath of a storm. As the waters recede and it’s time to pick up the pieces, dealing with pests makes the process of repairing a home or business even harder.

Although Florida sees all manner of pests (and the potential for heavy storms) throughout the year, certain animals can rear their unpleasant heads and do their best to seek shelter on your property in the aftermath of hurricanes and other water surges.

A brown rat looks out from between the wooden planks of a floorboard


Rats are some of the worst pests to encounter in the aftermath of heavy flooding. As the water rises, it disturbs any rats and rodents whose habitats are low to the ground. The rats then seek shelter from the storm by crawling into any space they can, including gaps in walls and rooflines. The rats then make their way inside, where they chew through walls and wires and make nests for the rest of the year.

In addition to the risk of property damage that rats bring, they’re also notorious sources of disease. They leave droppings everywhere that can expose the members of your household to illness—the last thing you need while cleaning up after a storm.


Squirrels, like rats, are rodents who seek shelter from the storm inside houses. Their constant need to file down their teeth means they’ll chew on anything to get inside your home or vehicles. If squirrels make their way into your attic, high energy costs from chewed-up insulation won’t be your only concern. They will create fire hazards by nesting in the walls and gnawing on wires.


Raccoons bring persistent foul smells to your home whether they’re trying to escape a flood or not. But in the aftermath of a storm surge, they’re far more likely to find their way into your home’s attic as they escape the elements. Raccoons most often seek out these spaces as a place to build dens and have babies, which can lead to an increased risk of disease or extensive damage to your home.

What’s worse, raccoons often invite all kinds of mischievous behavior from pets trying to find them. The damage they create while trying to sniff out these bandit-faced bad guys could be an expensive problem.


When it comes to Floridian pests, snakes are common enough on their own. But the potential for them to be swept inside your home by floodwaters makes them an even more worrisome unwanted visitor.

Snakes in your yard or crawl space can range from a nuisance to a dangerous problem. Florida is home to several types of slithering serpents, from relatively harmless ones that feast on rats and mice to venomous snakes that cause immediate medical emergencies through their bites.

If you see a snake in your home while going through the process of cleanup, do not try to take care of the issue alone. Contact a pest professional to identify it and safely remove it from the affected location.

A white wall is covered in black and brown mold stains caused by flooding. The green floor is covered with water.

Other Common Pest Issues After Floods

Rodents and reptiles are far from the only pests that cause problems after a flood or heavy rain. Insects like ants seek shelter from the water after it floods their nests, which can lead to a swarm of thousands of invaders making their way into the common areas of your home, such as kitchens or bathrooms.

Because flooding can lead to moisture damage and mold, it’s imperative to dry things out as quickly as possible. Even a mild amount of flooding can lead to perfect breeding conditions in your crawl space for mold or mildew, as moist environments create the conditions for many types of fungi and pests to thrive. In many instances, the pests themselves can be canaries in the coal mine for problems in the home that might make you ill.

Mosquitoes thrive in pools of standing water, which is an unfortunate side effect of so much flooding in our area. Mosquitoes can spread all manner of disease with their bites, which makes the swarms of insects that appear after the females lay their eggs in water pools even worse.

How To Deal With Post-Flood Pest Problems

With so many things to worry about after a flood, putting pests in their place may feel like an afterthought. But as it turns out, keeping a careful eye for signs of an infestation is just one way to help expedite the cleanup process and keep your home and family safe.

If the walk-through of your home after a heavy rain or flood reveals signs of pests or conditions that might prove attractive to them, a comprehensive residential pest control program is your best remedy. Refuse entry to rodents and other wildlife by getting an inspection and pest treatments started as soon as possible.

And if you do notice signs of wildlife nesting in drier parts of your home, dealing with the problem yourself is not an option. Contact professional pest removal services to safely remove and exclude any wildlife from your home.

Call Critter Control for Your Pest Control Program Today

Whether it’s been weeks or months after a flood event in your home, a pest inspection can give you peace of mind regarding the chances of a future infestation. Call Critter Control of Tampa or contact us online for all your pest and wildlife prevention and removal needs.

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