NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Summer is winding down, and weather conditions could increase pest populations heading into fall.

According to a news release from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), there are ways that people can protect their homes from pests and the threats they pose.

“Pests such as mosquitoes, rodents, flies, and even red imported fire ants, depending on where you live, could pop up in your backyard if you are in a region impacted by heavy rain,” said Board-Certified Entomologist and Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at NMP, Dr. Jim Fredericks. “Red imported fire ants are known for their very painful sting while the rest of these pests can spread disease-causing pathogens to humans.”

Weather can be unpredictable, especially extreme weather, but there are things homeowners can do ahead of time to avoid infestations.

People can do evaluations of the exterior and interior of the home to see if anything could be worsened by a storm or give pests access to the home. Cracks need to be sealed and existing water damage should also be fixed.

Floods and heavy rain will attract mosquitoes, so remove any items that will hold standing water that can provide egg-laying sites and larval development sites. This includes birdbaths, clogged gutters, flowerpots, grill covers, garbage cans and lids.

Losing power isn’t the only annoying thing, it can spoil food and invite rodents and flies into the house. Put spoiled food in a sealed trash can away from the home to keep the pests away.

If you find yourself with an infestation after a storm has gone, it’s better to contact a pest control professional for help.