04/14/18
Believe it or not, it will eventually rain this spring. It has to. When that happens, it’ll bring about several seasonal changes rapidly. The ground will soften. Grass will turn green and start growing again. Buds will appear on trees, and eventually turn into leaves. Plants and flowers will bloom, grow, and even blossom. You know what’s coming next. As everything else wakes up for spring, all kinds of pests do, too. Actually, bugs are even more affected by rain than most things. Rain can destroy their homes, move their prey, and force them to go places they would rather avoid. Places like your home! Here are four bugs you can expect to see more of after heavy rains, and why.

Cockroaches

cockroaches in rainRoaches tend to live in places that flood easily, especially in winter and early spring. To survive winter, cockroaches need to find a humid, warm place to wait out the cold. Often, these are places like drains, pipes, foundations, sewers, and crawl spaces. When heavy rainfall floods these locations, newly awakened cockroaches are displaced. In their struggle to avoid drowning, they’ll often make their way into your home. As long as they can avoid drowning, cockroaches actually thrive in rainy weather. Like all living things, roaches need moisture to survive. They can only permanently inhabit an area that’s humid enough for them to get what little water they need. After heavy rains, lingering humidity makes all kinds of places more livable for roaches. Unfortunately, if cockroaches make their way into your home, they won’t be in any big hurry to leave. Cockroach infestations commonly start in rainy weather.

Sowbugs

sowbugs in rainSowbugs are tiny, grey-brown, pill-shaped pests with 14 legs and a series of shell-like plates overlapping on their backs. Though they probably resemble beetles, sowbugs are actually a form of land crustacean related to lobsters, crabs, or crayfish. Sowbugs’ breathing apparatus requires moisture to function, so sowbugs literally can’t breathe unless they’re near water. For that reason, sowbugs are typically confined to moist soil or sand. After rain, however, they have more options. Usually, any sowbugs that attempted to get inside a home would die off quickly, after running out of moisture. Dying off that quickly keeps them from reproducing inside, so infestations never really get underway. After rain, however, the moisture in the air and nearby enables sowbugs to live indoors for longer periods of time. If they have decaying organic material to feed on, they may stick around even longer. Given the opportunity, sowbugs will reproduce indoors, which could lead to a frustrating multi-generational infestation.   

Ants

ants in rainThere are simply so many ants in the world that a colony is never far from where you’re living. Ants usually build their colonies in topsoil near convenient sources of food and shelter. These shallow colonies are very at-risk of flooding, even if it hasn’t rained very much. When ant colonies flood, ants have to make their way to dry higher ground if they don’t want to get swept away. Often, that higher ground is your home. During rain, ants will seek the faster way into your home. Once inside, ants pretty much pick up where they left off: looking for food and expanding the colony. Except to see ants around your kitchen sink, pantry, cupboards, and window sills during and after heavy rains. Unfortunately, like roaches, ants are opportunistic foragers. If they find what they need in your home during rain, they’re not going to leave it alone after it stops raining.

Centipedes

centipedes in rainLike the other pests on this list, house centipedes are attracted to humid environments. That’s not all they’re attracted to, however. House centipedes are predators. They hunt and feed on pretty much anything smaller than them… including roaches, sowbugs, and ants. The moisture and humidity provided by rain expands house centipedes’ prospective hunting grounds. They follow their prey when they try to get out of the rain… straight into your home.   Like spiders, house centipedes generally go wherever they’re most likely to catch prey. They typically only hunt late at night, but in dark environments they may hunt all day. Expect to see them in bathrooms, basements, attics, garages, and other humid, damp places. As if centipedes weren’t bad enough, they’re also usually a sign you have other pests nearby. Treating that pest problem will also help treat your centipede problem. Centipedes will become less prevalent after things dry back up, but you could run into them from time to time anyway.   We’re not trying to bum you out. Spring is great. Spring rain is great. All the rain-displaced pests in the world shouldn’t be able to take that away from you. If you need some help seeing the bright side of a pest-filled rainy day, give Plunkett’s a call anytime. We’ll help make sure your spring is more silver-lining than storm cloud.


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