Anyone who’s spent some time in Missouri, eastern Illinois or Kansas knows summer means one thing – hot, humid weather. Another given is that along with those sizzling temperatures and unpleasant dew point levels, is that insects will be more abundant and more active.
The first is a scientific fact that an insect’s metabolic rate increases in warm weather thus requiring them to eat more. The strong survival instinct that is innate in all pests will lead them to aggressively seek new sources of food, water and a cool place to live during periods of extremely hot weather.
Warmer temperatures also expand the habitats that allow pest populations to flourish, increase survival rates and provide more time to reproduce and introduce more pests into the environment.
What is the impact of warm weather on insects and other pests and what can homeowners do about it? Let Rottler Pest Solutions break it down for you.
Earlier Pest Breeding
Temperature impacts when many Insects start their breeding season. If warm weather starts early, so will insect breeding. This can have consequences on pest population levels for the rest of the season, including faster insect lifecycles and less time between generations. Unfortunately, an earlier start on breeding doesn’t equate to a quicker end to the pest season. If the weather stays warm, insect populations will continue to thrive and reproduce under the right conditions.
Insect Populations Increase
Since insects are cold-blooded, they do well in the hot, humid summer weather that is found across Rottler’s service area. This results in homeowners seeing a visible increase in the number of pests such as mosquitoes, ants, flies, crickets, and other insects they see in and around their home. Even extreme heat will not deter insects.
Dry Weather Moves Pests Inside
Insects need water to survive. However, the effect of too little rain also affects insect behavior. Extremely dry weather pushes many insects, including ants and certain species of crickets, indoors in search of water. There are some insects, however, that thrive and multiply in dry, hot weather. For example, grasshopper and spider mite populations skyrocket under these conditions.
Nighttime Is Pest Time
You might notice more pest activity at night than during the day when the weather is hot. Look for insects and animals at night when the weather cools down enough for pests to be more active. Pests will adjust their activity levels according to the temperature. If you don’t think you have pests, look around when the sun goes down. The activity you see might surprise you and not in a good way.
Too Hot for Mice
Mice are more active during the summer than are during the rest of the year. Like humans, mice also will do what everyone else does during a scorching hot summer day: find a cool place to avoid the heat.
Spiders are another pest that is impacted by St. Louis’ sizzling summer weather. The intense heat found in attics – a preferred habitat for spiders in cooler weather – will drive spiders out and into cooler areas of a home where encounters with humans are more likely.
The Rottler Summer Pest Solution
Homeowners can keep pests out of their home this summer with these pest prevention tips:
- Eliminate sources of excess moisture – leaky faucets, broken sprinkle heads, standing water – that will attract pests.
- Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home to prevent crawling insects from gaining access. Don’t forget to check around utility line (electric, cable, gas, etc.) entry points.
- Replace weatherstripping around doors and windows.
- Check screens on windows, doors, chimneys, dryer vents and ventilation screens for openings.
- Maintain your yard. Don’t let high grass and weeds grow giving pests shelter, and trim tree branches and shrubbery so it does not touch your house and provide pests a path inside.
- Keep basements, attics, and crawlspaces well ventilated and dry.
- Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
- Repair fascia and rotted roof shingles, as some insects are drawn to deteriorating wood.