If it seems like pest infestations have gotten worse in recent years, it’s not your imagination. We’ve seen more pest generations per season, larger specimens, and more frequent species movement. 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 El Paso?
Does extreme weather attract pests, and is there anything residents of West Texas can do to prepare?
Warmer Weather Means Larger Pests
If you think large insects are cool, we have some exciting news. Warmer temperatures increase the availability of food and create easier overall conditions for insects, which means that individual specimens eat more, live longer, and grow bigger. If you’re an insect lover or entomologist, you should be pumped! For most of the rest of us, including people who just want to keep bugs out of their homes, this is not the best news.
Warmer Weather Leads to More Pests
Most pest species aren’t meant to live in freezing temperatures, so they go dormant during winter. Then when spring comes around, they wake up and the life cycle begins anew. From an evolutionary standpoint, this is a highly effective survival measure to ensure 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 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.
Shifting Weather Patterns Attract 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. More areas offer warmer, more habitable climates, which is a primary reason why.
It’s plausible 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 will happen with other pest species.
What Can You Do?
Temperatures are getting warmer on average, weather patterns are shifting, and it’s having a major impact on pests around the world. 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 habitat they want.
- 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.
- 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.
A Trusted Pest Control Provider in West Texas
At Pest Defense Solutions – El Paso, our team works quickly and efficiently to provide you with the pest-free living our services guarantee. As the top-rated pest control and extermination company in El Paso, you can trust you are working with one of the best companies in the industry. Call us for a free quote.