With summer in full swing, it’s likely you’ve noticed increased pest activity. Why is it that most pests like the summer season best? Orkin’s Dr. Ron Harrison dives into the top five reasons why pests like ants, cockroaches, mosquitoes and spiders thrive during summer months:
Temperatures that rise in spring and summer affect the behavior and development of many common pests. But even pests have their limits when temperatures reach extreme heights. Fire ants, for example, will go deep into the ground, and some other pests will try to seek shelter indoors to avoid the heat. That means the temperature favorability makes pests more active until that tipping point when they’re inclined to make their way into your air conditioned facility with the rest of us.
Water is essential for survival, which is why many pests thrive in moist areas. Moisture in the air also has an impact, so summer showers and high humidity make for favorable conditions. During periods of drought, pests will move indoors to seek out damp areas for shelter.
3. Food Sources
If you spent your weekend mowing the lawn at home, you’re well aware that grass and other vegetation is more abundant during summer. What eats up your Saturday afternoon is an all-you-can-eat buffet for many pests. This can lead to a pest population increase until the food source is completely depleted and pests move on.
4. Life Cycle
Many pests are cold-blooded and therefore highly impacted by the weather. This results in a stage of increased activity during certain stages of their life cycle in summer months. Ant colonies, for example, will monumentally increase in size as pests reproduce to ensure the survival of their colony during the approaching colder months when they become dormant.
Summer means longer days and shorter nights. More hours of sunlight in a day give many pests more time to feed. This means we may see pests more often over the summer as we, too, are enjoying longer days outdoors.
Many summer pests are not only bothersome to humans, but also able to inflict painful bites and spread diseases. Follow these prevention tips in and around your facility:
- Check for and clear debris from gutters, as it can lead to ideal, moist breeding grounds.
- Limit vegetation and trim back branches that may have grown against your building. Try to create a vegetation-free barrier of at least 2 feet to help prevent harborage and hidden entry points.
- Inspect the building’s perimeter for cracks and crevices in the walls, floor and pavement. Seal with weather-resistant sealant. Use weather stripping around windows, seal any exposed pipe or conduit penetrations with caulking.
- Trash cans on your property should have tight-fitting lids. Also, contact your waste management professional to clean and rotate your dumpsters to help keep pest conducive conditions to a minimum. Dumpster rotation is especially important during the summer months when heat can amplify the odors and attract pests.
- Specifically for mosquitoes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommend providing outside workers with an EPA-registered mosquito repellent containing one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol or IR3535.