Does it seem like pest infestations have gotten worse in recent years? It’s not your imagination. We’ve been seeing more pest generations per season, larger individual specimens, and more frequent species relocations. And there’s strong evidence that rising temperatures and changing weather patterns are behind it. Around the world, it’s clear that extreme weather is affecting pest behavior in ways we haven’t seen before, but what does that mean for us here in Lubbock?
Does extreme weather attract pests, and is there anything Texans can do to prepare for it?
Warmer Weather Means More Pests
Most pest species aren’t meant to live in freezing temperatures, so they go dormant during the winter. Then when the calendar flips back to spring, they wake up and the life cycle begins anew. From an evolutionary standpoint, this is a highly effective survival measure that ensures the existence of the species year to year.
But how do they know when to go dormant and when to wake up? The temperature tells them. The problem is, when temperatures rise a few degrees, they’re forced to go dormant later in the year and wake up earlier in the year. This means that the species starts breeding earlier in the year, which means more generations, and they’re breeding later into the year too, which means that more of them survive. Overall, this translates to more pests throughout more of the year.
Warmer Weather = Larger Pests
If you think extremely large insects are extremely cool like we do, here’s some exciting news. Warmer temperatures increase availability of food and create easier overall conditions for insects, which means that individual specimens eat more, live longer and grow bigger. In other words, insect lovers, get pumped: we find ourselves on the precipice of seeing some of the biggest bugs ever observed in the human era.
For everyone else who doesn’t love large insects, we understand that this is not necessarily the best news. Sorry.
Shifting Weather Patterns = New Invasive Pests
There’s nothing new about invasive species changing local and regional ecosystems. It’s been happening for centuries. But it does seem to be happening more often in recent years with more areas offering warmer, more habitable climates being a primary reason why.
In Texas, this means that invasive insect species from tropical and subtropical regions could migrate here. We’ve already seen it with kissing bugs from Central and South America. Over the last decade, they’ve established themselves here and it’s very likely they will continue expanding their territory. We should expect the same thing may happen with other pest species.
What Can You Do to Prepare?
Temperatures are getting warmer on average, weather patterns are shifting, and it’s having a major impact on pests around the world. At this point, it’s happening. There’s little we can do to change it.
Here are a few ways you can prepare for extreme weather affecting pest activity:
- Ensure Structural Integrity: If there are any cracks or gaps in your external walls, have them sealed. With a high likelihood of new invasive pests arriving in the area in the future, your goal should be protecting your own property. This is one of the best ways to prevent pests from coming inside.
- Exterior Grounds Maintenance: It’s important to keep your yard tidy as well. Pests love hiding in areas like wood piles and overgrown shrubbery where they’re unlikely to be disturbed. If you reduce these areas outside, pests will have to find another property that has the features they want.
- Year-Round Monitoring: Pest infestations can happen at any time, so pay close attention to your property throughout the year. Periodically inspect your yard to make sure nothing has changed. If you do notice the early signs of a new pest problem, get it taken care of early.
- Post-Weather Event Assessment, Pest Management, and Cleanup: Sudden weather events can cause sudden changes in pest behavior. In the event of a hurricane or tornado, monitor pest activity for several weeks afterward. There’s a chance that nearby pests will have been displaced and look for a new place to live.
Work with a Pest Control Provider You Trust
It’s more important than ever to work with a local pest control company you can trust. At D’s Pest Control, that’s who we are: experienced pest experts who are committed to staying updated with the latest pest control news and information. That way, when you call us, you can be sure you’re working with someone who can answer all of your questions and leave you with 100% peace of mind.
No matter what you’re dealing with, give D’s Pest Control a call. We’ll find a solution that solves your problem now, and leaves you protected long after we leave.