Vermont is known for its long rainy season, but gray clouds aren’t the only thing we have to worry about. From flooding in the spring to heat waves in the summer, extreme weather conditions impact hundreds of homeowners and businesses each year.
Rapid weather changes can have a lot of serious consequences on your property and local environment, but there’s one problem that a lot of people overlook: increased pest activity. Sudden shifts in the climate can influence the populations and behaviors of local insects and critters, which could leave your property even more vulnerable to infestations after a storm.
How Does Weather Affect Pests?
Disruptions to normal weather patterns can significantly change pest activity. However, each species will react differently depending on how their environment changes. To understand the relationship between extreme weather and pests, let’s take a look at the main factors that can alter pest behavior:
Sudden Temperature Shifts
From life cycle to nesting habits, a lot of pest activity is closely linked to temperature. Some critters, such as insects, are also ectothermic and completely rely on their environment for warmth. For this reason, severe weather conditions that result in sharp temperature changes can cause a variety of problems such as:
- Decrease in pest populations: Many insects, such as bumblebees, will die in freezing temperatures. Though cold weather can help reduce the presence of unwanted pests, including mosquitoes and wasps, it can also wreak havoc on the local environment by killing off beneficial species.
- Increased risk of infestations: Any major turn in the weather could cause pests to seek shelter and comfort… which may lead them right into your home. A cold AC fan or warm fireplace offers relief from severe temperatures, which is why so many people notice rodent or insect infestations shortly after a storm or heat wave.
- Growth in pest populations: Mosquitoes, termites, wasps, and other cold-blooded insects thrive in hot weather. A longer and warmer summer could even extend the breeding season for some pests, which will lead to a steady increase in their populations.
- Heightened aggression: Extreme heat dries up the environment, which makes pests more desperate for water. In their desperation, some species – such as yellowjackets or wasps – may become more active and aggressive toward humans.
Heavy Rains or Flooding
Flooding is one of the most common extreme weather events here in Vermont. Since flood waters can significantly alter the landscape, a serious storm could cause a sharp increase in pest activity by:
- Destroying nests or burrows: Heavy rains and flooding may wash away nests and burrows, causing displaced pests to seek shelter elsewhere. In their search for safety, they may wander indoors, leading to more infestations.
- Providing a place for some pests to thrive: Many insects in our area thrive in damp environments, and even require water to breed. Pools of stagnant water left over from a flood can serve as the perfect environment for pests such as mosquitoes and flies to feed and breed, which may lead to a significant increase in their populations.
Particularly since our environment is frequently rainy and damp, a drought can have a severe impact on local pest populations. Many will die off without access to water, and those that survive will likely search for moisture wherever possible. Insects and rodents may be attracted to lawn sprinklers, leaky pipes, and anywhere else that they can find a drop of water. They also may become more aggressive as they grow increasingly desperate for moisture.
Preventing Infestations After Extreme Weather
Between property damage and health risks, pests can be a major problem. Though extreme weather conditions can increase your likelihood of experiencing an infestation, there are a few steps you can take to keep pests out:
- Seal up cracks and gaps leading to your home
- Fix leaky pipes, dripping faucets, and other moisture issues
- Store food in airtight containers and clean up crumbs
- Properly dispose of trash in lidded bins
- Get professional pest control
Notice signs of pests on your property? Want to ensure your home or business is weathertight and protected all year long? The experts at Vermont Pest Control can help! Since 1991, we have been a local leader in eco-conscious, effective, and long-term pest management. Our technicians are highly trained and knowledgeable of the latest pest control techniques, so we can provide you with custom solutions that are centered around your needs. To learn more or get started, give us a call for your free quote!
How Extreme Weather Can Attract Pests in Vermont
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