How Wildfires Affect Pests: Their Habits, Food Sources, and More

forest fire

Wildfires are occurring more frequently in the United States. It can be devastating when your home lies in the path of one of these fires. We often think about how wildfires affect the environment and the animals that live there, but we overlook how it affects the smallest insects and other pests. Here we will discuss how pests deal with a wildfire and how it affects their habitats.

Pests Wildfire Guide: 

What Happens To Pests During A Wildfire?

A wildfire can be a scary and devastating event for California wildlifebut many species are used to fires and have adapted ways to live with them. Many insects can easily fly away and find a new home if a fire breaks out while others will perish. Rodents and other animals have no choice but to seek shelter underground, climb high into trees, or escape the area completely. 

While it may seem like a bad thing, many pests living outside the burned area will re-invade and re-populate the area rather quickly. Some pests like beetles, worms, and grasshoppers strategically lay their eggs underground or in rotting logs where the moisture content protects them from the heat of the flames.  

Does Pest Activity Decrease After a Wildfire? 

After a wildfire has burned its way through an area, there will be a period of time when it is uninhabitable for pests and animals. But this doesn’t last for long. The large amount of dead and dying trees is an open invitation for several wood-boring insects such as:

  • Mountain Pine Beetle
  • German Jewel Beetle
  • Douglas Fir Bark Beetle

What Can You Do to Prevent Pests After a Wildfire?

In the vicinity of recent wildfires, you can expect to see more animals seeking water, food, and shelter. If your home is in the path of fleeing pests, some of them may seek shelter inside your home. Here are some ways to prevent pests from entering your home after a wildfire:

  • Remove Rotting Food: When wildlife is displaced they will be desperately searching for food and water. If you have evacuated the area and left rotting food in your home or garden, pests will easily find it.  
  • Clear Debris: Having a lot of debris and junk in your yard can be attractive to animals that have been displaced by wildfires. Keep your yard clean of leaves, brush, and rotting wood. Get rid of junk like unused lumber, old cars, or abandoned outbuildings. 
  • Trim Your Trees and Shrubs: Prevent pests from accessing your home by trimming back limbs that hang over your roof. Make sure there is a space between shrubbery and the outer walls of your home to prevent rodents and small mammals from using the space for undetected navigation.
  • Seal All Entry Points:  Be sure to seal up any cracks in your home to keep out mice, rats, squirrels, cockroaches, crickets, termites, ants, and other pests. Caulk should be applied around the frames of windows, doors, and utility openings. Cracks in basement walls and foundations should be sealed.

Call The Pest Control Experts 

We all love enjoying California wildlife from a distance. But sometimes pests and animals get a little too close for comfort and become a threat to us and themselves. If you are having concerns with local wildlife, then call the professionals at Big Time Pest Control. We can bait, trap, and remove animals safely and humanely. We can even help you protect your home so wild animals stay away from your property. Contact us today!

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