Winter Weather’s Influence on Pest Problems
It is the question on all of our minds, with this uncharacteristically warm winter… “What will this mean for Pest Problems throughout the year?” Well, we searched high and low, and found some excellent insights from Pest Control Technology that were too good not to share. As the Spring approaches, be sure to contact SafeSpray for all of your pest control needs!
Read the full article at Predicting Pests After Old Man Winter
There’s a clear correlation between weather and pest pressure. Yet, both are challenging to predict because of Mother Nature’s whims and recent years’ extreme weather conditions. Here’s what we learned about 2017’s forecast.
Many pests are like people in the winter. When temperatures drop, we head indoors. If there’s food and a comfortable place to hang out, we’re there. And after a lot of rain, we can’t wait to get out and run around.
“Virtually all of the pest problems we see are influenced by weather one way or another,” says Dr. Philip Koehler, an endowed professor specializing in urban entomology at the University of Florida.
“Insects are not able to regulate their own temperatures,” he continues. “So, they rely on the weather to regulate it for them. There are things they do to modify that on their own, such as move to a place that is warmer.”
With winter weather underway and circulating predictions about how long, cold, wet and snowy the first quarter of 2017 will be, the real question is: What does this mean for pest pressure?
MOISTURE MATTERS. Koehler points to the drought conditions in the Southeast and a slowdown of pest pressure in terms of complaints from customers finding insects indoors.
Dry weather can squelch pest production. But, once the rain returns that activity picks back up. That’s what Clark Pest Control in California experienced, says Nicole Kirwan Keefe, director of marketing and advertising for the company.
“We had one of the wettest Octobers in 2016 that we’ve had in a long time, following a long, dry run,” Keefe says. November was the busiest business month on record. “I can’t miss the correlation between one of the wettest Octobers and the busiest November.”
Keefe thinks the wet weather caused a spike in pest activity, then in November some of these pests were driven inside. (This is also the time when people are unpacking their holiday boxes from garages, which tends to stir up pests.)
“We saw a lot of heavy ant activity, and on the coast we did see some termite activity spike up (in November),” Keefe says.
Following winter 2017, Keefe expects lots of weed work and clearing of harborage spaces. “Weeds are growing like crazy around homes with all those early rains,” she says. “We are going to have a lot of harborage areas that will increase pest activity.”
Excerpts from Predicting Pests After Old Man Winter: January 18, 2017, by Kristen Hampshire (Pest Control Technology)