Record Heat Across Country Makes for Extra Buggy SummerNPMA Staff
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Sweltering temperatures and dry conditions create the perfect
storm for pest populations
The unrelenting heat may be putting a
damper on summer fun for many Americans, but it’s actually creating
ideal conditions for pests, the National Pest Management
Association (NPMA) warned today. The especially hot temperatures
much of the country has experienced this summer are leading to
increased populations of many pests, including ants, fleas, ticks, termites, scorpions,
recluse spiders, black widow spiders, Japanese
beetles, pincher bugs and earwigs.
“Insects are cold-blooded, which means that their body
temperatures are regulated by the temperature of their
environment,” explained Missy Henriksen, vice president of public
affairs for the NPMA. “In cold weather, insects’ internal
temperatures drop, causing them to slow down. But in warm weather,
they become more active. Larvae grow at a faster rate, reproduction
cycles speed up and they move faster.“
According to the NOAA National Climatic Data Center, the first
half of 2012 has been the
warmest on record for the U.S. mainland since record keeping
began in 1895. This summer has been especially brutal, with heat
waves sending temperatures soaring in 20 states and breaking more
than 170 all-time warmth records. In addition, unusually dry
weather is causing wide-spread droughts, which when combined with
the heat, can increase pest infestations.
“Hot and dry conditions send many pests indoors, as they seek
moisture and cooler temperatures, so homeowners will likely
encounter more pests in their homes than usual,” says Henriksen.
“Even areas of the country that are receiving rain aren’t in the
clear, as standing rain water breeds mosquitoes, which can spread
West Nile virus.”
The NPMA recommends that those spending time outdoors
take steps to prevent encountering pests, including wearing
insect repellent containing DEET or picaridin. If you find pests in
your home or property, contact a licensed pest
professional. They will be able to properly identify your pest
problem and recommend a course of treatment.
For more information, visit www.pestworld.org.
The NPMA, a non-profit organization
with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support
the pest management industry’s commitment to the protection of
public health, food and property.