Area exterminators are fielding more calls than ever to deal with infestations of common pest insects. Meanwhile, homeowners throughout the country are wondering what they can do to reclaim their space.
In this post, we’ll take a look at what’s behind the surging pest numbers, why there are more bugs in summer, and what you can do to avoid an infestation in your home or on your property.
- Due to climate change and global warming, pest populations are increasing, and people in and around Northern California (and around the globe) are seeing more bugs and pests during the summer months.
- Insets need external heat sources to grow and thrive, so rising environmental temperatures are helping them reproduce at more rapid rates.
- Changes to global rainfall patterns and widespread droughts are also increasing pest numbers since crops stressed by drought are less resistant to pest predation.
- If you’ve noticed more pests than usual in your home or yard, Smith’s Pest Management can help you control the pests and reclaim your space.
Why are there More Bugs in the Summer?
It’s not just NorCal that’s seeing an alarming rise in pest numbers. In fact, this is a near-global phenomenon.
The African continent, for example, is seeing record-breaking, localized pest invasions that are destroying crops like maize, rice, and wheat–and they’re only projected to get worse.
Right now, experts are predicting that pest-related yield losses to African crops will rise by 10%-25% for each degree of Celsius warming in the coming years.
That’s the reason for the increased pest numbers in the US as well:
Climate change and global warming.
As the climate changes and global temperatures increase, insect numbers do, as well.
Here are a few reasons why:
1. Rising Temperatures Encourage Insects to Reproduce
Insects are categorized as poikilotherms, or cold-blooded creatures. That means that their development, life-cycles, and growth are all regulated by the temperature of their environment.
While mammals are homeothermic —which means we’re capable of maintaining a reasonably stable internal body temperature regardless of the temperature of our environment —insects need external heat sources to grow and thrive. As such, temperatures that are higher than average create a spike in insect growth, reproduction, and development.
Rising temperatures also cause insect metabolism to speed up. As they burn more energy, they must eat more (hence the rising number of crop losses). They also develop faster and larger, die off less frequently, and reproduce in greater numbers.
The result is the summertime infestations so many homeowners are familiar with.
2. Changes to Rainfall Patterns Affect Pest Numbers
Changes to the climate also impact global rainfall patterns. Around the world, we’re already seeing patterns of intense drought and flooding. This impacts the interaction between pest species, food sources, and the natural environment.
For example, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that the stress of drought patterns increases the number of insect pests that eat crops does, as well.
While the science behind this is still in development, most experts believe this is because plants under drought stress decrease their investment into chemical defense mechanisms, thereby becoming more vulnerable to pest insects.
3. Changes to the Weather Impact the Habitat of Bugs in Summer
Shifts in the weather can affect the territory where insects choose to live. In fact, there’s research that suggests the normal territorial range of insects is changing in response to global warming.
As the climate becomes more insect-friendly, pests are moving into new territory around the world. This leads to surprising infestations in places that have never seen infestations before.
4. Fewer Natural Predators
Another function of climate change is that it changes the way insects and predators interact. In a balanced environment, insect predators would be abundant when crop plants come under pressure from insect pests.
The ability of predators to find insect pests, however, depends on their ability to function and survive in a changing environment. If the warming climate is killing insect predators while causing insect populations to bloom, for example, the balance will naturally skew in favor of the pests.
5. Crop-Eating Pests Love Warm Weather
The increase in insects in the summer is even bad news for some insects. As temperatures increase and pest populations flourish, there’s more food for predatory insects to consume. Wasps, praying mantises, ladybugs, and flower flies eat ants, aphids, flies, and other small bugs.
Within reason, this is good news for homeowners, as a balanced population of predatory insects may help control pest species in your home and garden. That’s only true until the predatory insects become pests as well, though, at which point you need the help of a skilled exterminator.
Smith’s Pest Management Will Help You Reclaim Your Outdoor Space
If you’ve noticed more bugs than usual on your property this summer, Smith’s Pest Management can help you put an end to the infestation. Our team of skilled exterminators will evaluate your pest problem, determine what’s causing it, and come up with a treatment to help resolve the issue.
To learn more or request your estimate, contact us today: (408) 871-6988