Does a Hot Summer Mean More Winter Pests? The Results Are In
This past summer saw record high temperatures, and we aren’t the only ones who felt the heat. Insects are also impacted by heat waves, causing a ripple effect in buggy behavior that can last all the way through winter.
So, how exactly do rising temperatures affect insects? And most importantly, does a hot summer lead to more winter pests? Read on for the answers to your most burning questions — pun intended.
Summer 2022 Makes History
We all felt it — the summer of 2022 saw record-breaking high temperatures across the U.S., making it the second-hottest summer on record in the Northern Hemisphere. This has people wondering: what does this mean for winter?
The widespread effects of such extreme weather are still being revealed as winter approaches, but we do have a few predictions about what this means for winter bug behavior.
A Temperature-Driven Domino Effect
Higher temperatures mean more than just higher SPFs. When the heat rises, it has a widespread effect on the natural world, including pests. Temperatures regulate insects’ bodily functions. Higher temperatures can lead to increased physical activity in bugs — and in turn, a higher metabolism. This can cause insects to eat more and grow faster. And as insects grow in size, they tend to grow in number.
The faster insects grow, the quicker they can reproduce, multiplying at a much higher rate than in average conditions. Signs of an increased population could be more than usual crop damage and, of course, infestations.
A Decrease in Threats
Like small pests, larger predators, such as birds, frogs, or lizards, could be affected by the excess heat. For frogs, high temperatures may disrupt their growth patterns, leading to shorter life spans. Unlike bugs, birds’ metabolism slows in hotter temperatures, causing them to hunt less.
Inevitably, fewer predators lead to more pests. It’s best to keep an eye on your gardens, plants, crops, and house corners to see what the pests in your area are up to and if they show the stress-free signs of living life without fear of being another’s prey.
Look for Warning Signs
If you’re wondering whether you’ll have more unwelcome visitors this winter, look for webs in dusty corners, insects grouping together in warm places, or other signs of infestations, such as bug carcasses or dark pits in fruit.
To prevent an infestation, ensure all cracks and windows are sealed, your home is kept clean and clutter-free, and all areas that fall victim to high moisture (such as bathrooms and under the sink) remain dry. The best course of action is to contact pest control professionals to ensure your home can remain free of unwanted visitors.
Does a Hot Summer Mean More Bugs in Winter?
The short answer: it all depends on the species. Some insects may be activated by heat, but others can be weakened, as they are cold-blooded invertebrates. And while heat causes many insects to reproduce more rapidly, they still have to survive the cold temperatures of the winter. Freezing temperatures cause many insects to migrate or go into hibernation. Unfortunately, that could mean more bugs seeking shelter in your home.
If you find yourself facing an onslaught of post-summer pests, contact Hughes Exterminators for a detailed pest control plan.