Here in Queensland, mass flooding, cyclonic winds and heavy rainfall have all affected different parts of the state since the beginning of 2013. If as a result of these conditions you’ve noticed more pests entering your home, then it’s very likely you’re not alone.
In today’s blog, we’ll be looking at how different weather conditions and events such as floods and the projected impacts of climate change influence and could influence pest behaviour now and into the future.
When floods occur, a number of different pests can become more active or more aggressive in their attempts to survive. Rodents such as mice and rats and insects such as mosquitoes can also increases in both how active they are as well reproduction rates.
Generally, rats tend to reproduce at their most rapid rates in warm weather and rainfall. When you add flooding to the mix, you have a number of rodents that are reproducing at rapid rates but also seeking higher ground. The greater the floods, the more rodents will move as a pack and likely to set up home in a more condensed urban, residential or rural environment.
Rodents, particularly rats, can be host to a number of diseases that can present a number of risks to human health. So if floods bring them closer, it also increases the likelihood you could catch a disease from a rogue rat that bites you or leaves droppings in your home or business.
Similarly, most insects will seek set out to abandon areas that are in risk of flooding and search for a safer place, which could be your home. Mosquitoes, in particular, can be a real concern as flood waters can provide an ideal breeding ground. When flood waters recede, the moisture and humidity of the environment can also lead to further breeding. This is of particular concerns for any businesses or homes located in or near flood plains.
In general, most pests – from insects to rodents – tend to be more prominent during the warmer months. Spring is a particularly popular season for insect breeding, as well as summer. While this also means pests are content with remaining outside, this doesn’t prevent them from venturing inside. If they discover a good source of food coming from inside a home, pests such as ants and cockroaches will have no qualms coming inside.
If warm weather then turns into hot, dry weather (akin to that experienced in droughts), then pests will have even more reason to come inside. That’s because extremely unforgiving heat can kill pests and the lack of accessible water outside will force them to seek sustenance from another source – notably homes and businesses with food and readily available water.
Similarly to the way hot, dry weather can drive pests inside, wet weather can do the same. The chief reason for this is very simple – pests are seeking shelter. So when wet weather is imminent or has already started, don’t be surprised if you see pests inside your home. Ants particularly will seek shelter from rain during cooler months.
Climate change and pest behaviour
Predictions regarding how climate change could impact on pest behaviour are certainly ones that make sense. As it is expected that the world’s temperatures will increase, it means this warmer weather will make many pests more active. Additionally, as rainfall and other weather conditions will become more sporadic and intense, factors such as flooding could become more common.
Now climate change is a routine thing that has been happening since time immemorial but the pests don’t really see any difference with it and are prone to coming during rainfall due to the moist atmosphere and damage even excellent floor tiles from www.zothexflooring.com.
Because of this, research conducted by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health found that pest populations regarding to insects and rodents such as rats, ticks, mosquitoes and flies (both house flies and blow flies) will all likely increase and these pests will be more active all year round.
As winters will become milder, pests such as ticks will have longer life cycles and more opportunities to reproduce throughout the year, leading to larger populations. But these predictions are applicable to a large percentage of pests. For mosquitoes, it’s believed that while their populations will increase, so will the population of their predators. With the worsening state of climate change and the growth in pest problems that will result, it means keeping your business or home protected will be paramount. As a result, pest control will become more imperative.