Weather & Pests
Whether conditions in your area are hot and humid, cool and dry, or rainy with sudden downpours, your weather directly affects pests and their activities. These conditions prompt pests to invade your home to seek three very basic needs – food, water and shelter. Find out how your local weather is affecting your pest forecast this summer.
Rainy, Wet Weather
Pest Forecast: More pests may invade your home.
You can expect an increase in the number of pests you see this summer, plus more invasions, as these larger populations seek food. Specific pests you should watch for include:ants, outdoor cockroaches, spiders, crickets, ladybugs, yellow jackets, hornets, mice and rats. Here’s why:
- More moisture promotes pest reproduction and growth, so you have more insects! Ants, especially, reproduce in greater numbers in wet, warm climates.
- Additional pests mean a greater need for more food sources. Insects will continue to search beyond their normal habitats to find food.
- Invasions may occur as pests relocate to drier ground.
Excessive Rainfall and Flooding
Pest Forecast: Ants and others retreat from flooded soil.
Excessive rainfall over a short period of time will flood the soil and cause insects, especially ants, to seek dry ground. Some pests retreating from the unfavorable weather conditions will find shelter in the nearest location, which is often your home. Other facts to note:
- Ants can easily move an entire colony on short notice.
- Common areas that may become new homes overnight for ants are wall voids and under foundations.
- Excessive rain creates an abundance of ants, which increases the need for pest control services
Pest Forecast: Pests most likely will seek water in and around your home.
Rain will create additional pest growth, while lack of rain promotes pest invasions. If you enjoyed a dry, cool spring, chances are pests may be fewer, but they will be relentless in their pursuit of moisture for survival. Dry conditions affect pests in the following ways:
- Lack of moisture outside drives pests inside homes to find water.
- During dry weather, ants, earwigs, millipedes, pillbugs and sowbugs, crickets and spiders are the most common pests to seek water indoors.
- Millipedes have been known to leave leaf litter, mulch or a lawn and move in migrations of thousands when their harborages dry out – inevitably invading homes that stand in their way.
Pest Forecast: Fewer pests but more frequent visits.
Fewer pests are one benefit of a dry spring and summer. Extended periods of dry weather or droughts will affect the food supply also eliminating some insects. Here's what you can expect:
- With a reduced food supply, scorpions and certain spiders must venture beyond their normal habitats in search of a food source.
- Pests may establish breeding sites and harborages in and around your home – in debris, bricks, rocks, firewood, etc.
Pest Forecast: Warmth indoors attracts pests into your living spaces.
With cooler temperatures outside, pests seek the warmth and shelter of your home. Some pests you are likely to find invading your home to escape the cooler temperatures are box elder bugs, cluster flies, ladybugs and silverfish. Here’s more about these pests:
- Occasional invaders, like overwintering pests, start moving indoors during late summer and early fall as the temperature drops.
- These pests like to use walls, voids and attics as their winter retreats.
- There isn’t any way to totally pest-proof your home, but you can seal as many cracks and holes on the outside of your home as possible, especially on the south and west walls where the sun heats the home during the late summer and fall. Also, you should install tight-fitting screens on all foundation and attic vents.
Any short period of drought, extended rainfall or excessive heat or cold can force insects and other pests to invade homes seeking relief from unfavorable weather conditions. Like people, pests are affected by extreme heat or lack of rain and will do what is necessary to survive. Understanding the cause-and-effect relationship of weather and pests will help keep insects out of your home. For more information about pest control,call Allans Termite & Pest Control,Inc.
Subterranean termites are social insects that live in societies whose members are mostly immature individuals. Their colonies, which can contain thousands to millions of termites, are formidable, even though each individual termite is soft-bodied and delicate. In nature, subterranean termites are closely associated with the soil habitat where they tunnel to locate water and food (e.g., wood, fallen logs, and other cellulose-containing materials). Termites excavate galleries throughout their food as they consume it. They conceal their workings and can completely honeycomb wood by feeding along the grain and following the softer spring wood, leaving little more than a thin wooden exterior. Subterranean termites construct aboveground earthen runways (shelter tubes that protect them from the drying effects of air as well as from natural enemies, such as ants. Termites are very susceptible to desiccation, and thus they are dependent on moisture sources.
Subterranean Termite Biology
Termites are insects that live in loosely associated societies called colonies. A colony is a collection of individuals that cooperate in the rearing of young and that share resources (e.g., food and shelter). Some scientists view the termite colony not as a collection of individuals but as a single living entity whose parts (i.e., individual termites) work together towards the survival and reproduction of the whole (i.e., the colony). Termite colonies are comprised of a few adults (the king and queen) while the majority of the population are immature forms that are represented by approximately equal numbers of males and females.
The soldier castes primary function is colony defense.