Heat Waves and Pests

Sydney has suffered some soaring temperatures of late, and the phones at PestOz are running hot. This begs the question – is there any relationship between heat waves and pests?

While us humans do everything we can to stay cool and hydrated in the heat, heat waves and pests are a match made in heaven. Many insects including spiders, mosquitoes, cockroaches, fleas, ticks, bed bugs, ants and stinging insects thrive in the heat. These insects are cold blooded meaning that the increase in heat helps them to develop at a greater rate. Many of these insects hibernate during winter and use the summer months to feed and breed. And when temperatures soar to even greater heights; you guessed it – more breeding, and more pests.

Eventually these pests seek shelter from the extreme weather indoors, leading to increased sitings and increased calls to local pest controllers.

Some prime examples include:

  • Cockroaches – a prime example of the relationship between heat waves and pests. Roaches breed in the summer as the climate helps them to thrive. Despite this, they seek moisture and prefer dark shady places over the summer sun, leading them to look for moisture and shelter under sinks and basements.
  • In the case of spiders, they also venture indoors looking for dark places to hide. Once those places get too warm, for example, the attic, they’ll venture out and look for cooler spots downstairs.
  • Extreme heat can help to rapidly mature mosquito breeding. And the rain that typically comes after a heatwave is welcomed by mosquitos who use the catchments in buckets, wheel barrows and other containers as places to breed.

You can’t control the weather but there are some things you can do to avoid a pest infestation during the summer months when heat waves are common.

  • Keep your house as tidy as possible, removing any potential sources of food or shelter, such as dirty dishes in the sink, spills or crumbs on counter tops.
  • Avoid using┬ácompact fluorescent bulbs around your home – these are the ones that attract the most mozzies.
  • Use fans – mozzies aren’t strong against a current.
  • Try to keep grass and bushes at a distance from your walls.
  • Replace window screens regularly.
  • Be on top of your waste removal.
  • Make sure your food is stored in sealed containers.
  • Be on top of moisture prone and damp areas as well as places where water tends to accumulate from rain around the house.
  • Have regular preventative pest control treatments by contacting PestOz.
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