La Niña, the wet winter weather pattern that dumped record rain, sleet and snow across the country in late 2010 and early 2011, has not gone away quietly. Instead, it's being blamed for creating the perfect storm of unwelcomed insects. Termites, ants and other pests thrive in moist conditions, and they're expected to be especially prevalent across America this spring, as record snow packs melt from the Sierra Nevada to Capitol Hill. States from Missouri to Iowa to Wisconsin saw more flooding last year, with thousands of homes damaged by water. In fact, soil moisture conditions over many of these states are categorized as "extremely or very moist" The residual effect this year could be a proliferation of household pests that thrive in damp conditions, such as silverfish and spiders. Moisture also increases the odds of termite invasions, especially in Midwestern states such as Missouri, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. This native pest feeds on cellulose materials, including structural wood, wood fixtures, paper, books and cotton, and will even attack the roots of shrubs and trees. In the colder Northern states, carpenter ants are a greater threat to homeowners. There are many other ants in the Midwest, including the invasive odorous house ant, so named because it smells like a rotten coconut if it's smashed. Indoor nests can be found in wet areas, such as bath traps, under toilets, in wall voids near hot water pipes or heaters, and in crevices around sinks and cupboards.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Wet weather means more insects
Here's an interesting piece I ran across, warning us that we're going to have lots of bugs bothering us this summer. I figured as much. From BASF: La Nina sets stage for insect surge: