The annual infestation of pests in the wet, warm seasons is not an uncommon occurrence. Rodents, ticks and mosquitoes are just some of the many bothersome creatures that multiply and pose health risks in various regions.
It’s heavenly to go through spring and winter virtually pest-free when it’s too cold for pests to be functionally active. But, unfortunately, it seems they are as elated about summer as humans are! Only, they come to create havoc on the environment and humans alike.
You may have noticed that they get more excessive in their appearances and activities because things and times are not what they used to be.
In some places, winters have gotten milder, while in other places winters have gotten more severe. These changes allow pests to change their habits and many times find themselves in human habitation.
Climate Change and Pests
Critters and bugs are starting to appear more than usual in spring and winter. They become more active at the end of the cold season and march gleefully into spring. This can be attributed to unusual weather patterns across the US and elsewhere.
Climate change shifts the way our environment works. It causes the inevitable adjustments to control vectors and the population of unwanted pests. Unfortunately, the new conditions are helping them to thrive.
Recently, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) released its bi-annual Vector Sectors list. It named 10 US cities most likely to experience a high population of mosquitoes, rats and ticks at winter’s end and through spring.
They are as followed: Baltimore, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois; Cleveland, Ohio; Miami, Florida; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; New York City, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Tampa, Florida and Washington DC.
Is Your City Next?
Check out this infographic created by PestWorld.org. It focuses specifically on rodents, mosquitoes and ticks. Following the color-coded graphs, you will notice that the different pest surges have several factors driving them.
The warm winters in Baltimore ensure that ticks will be more active on warm winter days. Cleveland and Pittsburgh, on the other hand, with their warm autumn weather and freezing winter beginnings, will likely send rats scurrying through homes to seek warm shelter.
Meanwhile, Chicago and New York, with their late melting winter snow, will provide mosquitoes with ammunition of standing water to multiply their population this summer.
So, tick activity increases in warm, wet winter and fall seasons. Indoor rodent activity increases in warm, wet falls and cold winters. Mosquito breeding is at an all-time high in warm, wet falls and excessive snowfall in the winter.
The bad news is that with escalating climate change, the conditions are likely to be the new norm unless we make major changes to how we live.
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Certain pests are not only unwelcome visitors to your home, but they are also hazardous to health. Rodent and cockroach droppings can lead to food contamination and respiratory illness. Then there’s Lyme Disease, which is a bacterial infection transmitted to humans by a tick bite.
The diseases transmitted by these pests are of serious public health concern, which calls for vigilance to curb any form of contact and contamination.
There are all sorts of bugs such as spiders, scorpions and centipedes that carry poisonous bites and stings. And they love warm weather –so be careful.
How To Prevent Exposure
The NPMA recommends that wherever you live, you should store your food in air-tight containers. This practice will prevent food contamination.
Rat urine and droppings can cause leptospirosis, which can lead to kidney damage, inflammation of the membrane around the brain, spinal cord damage and liver failure.
Furthermore, the NPMA advises not to accommodate garbage buildup, and you should clean up spills as they happen. Also, dispose of food properly, so you don’t invite rodents and insects to come to have a feast and decide not to leave.
Anything that will attract pests should be disposed of carefully to keep critters away and maintain good health.
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Things That Attract Pests
Dirty dishes are enticing to flies, rodents, cockroaches and ants. Likewise, dirty gutters and any open container with water can attract mosquitoes.
Stacking firewood against your home may be convenient, but keep in mind the risk of a termite infestation. In hindsight, you are creating a bridge for insects to come into your home.
Food crumbs create a feeding ground for cockroaches, rodents and ants. So don’t forget to keep those kitchen floors crumb-free. After that big summer barbeque, be sure you clean your dirty grill to avoid ants and other critters.
Stink bugs and mosquitos are attracted to lights, so try to keep outdoor lighting to a minimum. We recommend turning off porch lights and closing window blinds in the evenings to prevent light from getting outside.
With the predictions for excess pests in warmer temperatures, every homeowner should have a maintenance strategy. If you want to reduce your exposure to rodents and insects, it’s time to plan how to keep them out!
Repair all leaking pipes to eliminate standing water where mosquitoes love to breed. Seal all openings and cracks where insects can crawl. If you are overwhelmed with any form of infestation, call in professionals to exterminate.
The 10 cities previously mentioned can now take prudent steps to prepare for what is to come. Execute your maintenance plan and always have your bug spray ready!
As climate change and weather patterns continue to change human lives, excess pests are just some of the consequences we face. Human activity causes climate change, and we are now starting to see the cause and effect of actions.
It is an opportune time to join those who have been vying for changes in how we do things. The things we do to the environment in the name of making a living are often inhumane. Not just in the US, but all over the world. Every person on this earth should contemplate ways to improve our space for our health, well-being and longevity.