Floods increase encounters with dangerous animals, insects | News
Even if your home isn’t inundated by the water rising in parts of Shelby County, experts warn it still may bring unwanted visitors on to your property.
"Snakes and mice or rats are just like people; they will seek shelter from a storm," said Bill Maily, area wildlife agent with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "If they are in flowing water and encounter a tree or structure, they'll likely climb up for a dry spot. If they find a house, they may go up to an open area under the eaves."
Maily said the real danger may come after the water recedes. He said snakes and other wildlife may hide under bookcases, in closets or near piles of debris.
However, snakes and rodents aren’t people’s only concern. There’s also the likelihood that Mid-Southerners will see an increased number of insects.
“Insects such as flies and mosquitoes can multiply at alarming rates after torrential rains, so people should be aggressive in removing standing puddles and containers filled with water," said Ben West, assistant wildlife professor at MSU.
People also need to be on the lookout for balls of fire ants floating through floodwaters. Entomologist Mike Williams said the ants will form a ball around their queen to protect her during floods. That massive ant ball can travel inside homes and other areas.
“That ball will float until it finds a dry place, usually the ground. Ants once burrowed deep in the ground will come to the surface during rains,” he said. “Each rain shower triggers a mating opportunity for the queen to emerge and form a new mound. Any time you have a rain event in the summer, you'll have an increase in mounds."
Photo courtesy Flickr user nophun201.
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