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How Do Extreme Temperatures Affect Insects?

A woman sprays bug repellent on herself as she walks down a nature trail infested with many mosquitoes flying through the air.

As the summer reaches its peak and temperatures climb, the number of insects also begins to climb. The increase in temperature means an increase in activity, but many insects handle the extreme Florida temperatures in different ways. When the summer heat begins to bear down, it’s best to be prepared. This blog from McCall Service will go over the behavior changes you can expect to see in pests commonly found in Florida, so you can adjust your pest prevention practices accordingly.

Which Bugs Are Active in Hot Weather?

Insects are cold-blooded, so they need heat from outside their bodies to function. Because of this, most native insects will be active even in extremely hot weather.

As summer marches on, mosquitoes, ticks, and ants are particularly active. There are also many species of stinging insects, flies, and a few species of termite that thrive in the heat of summer. Even some species that cannot handle extreme heat have found ways to survive and cause us problems. 

How Does Extreme Heat Change Pest Behavior?

The bad news is that many pests become even more active as the temperatures get warmer. They go out and seek food and water more aggressively, and they multiply at alarming rates. However, several other insect species dislike extreme temperatures and try to avoid them. The reaction to the heat varies greatly depending on the species.

Mosquitoes and Heat

The way mosquitoes handle the heat depends heavily on two factors: humidity and access to breeding grounds. If the humidity is low, mosquitoes may dry out in the intense heat. However, they tend to thrive in highly humid environments. They also need access to standing water to breed. Because mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, they congregate around lakes, marshes, and ponds where water tends to stagnate. Without access to water, their numbers will begin to dwindle.

When mosquitoes have access to their ideal habitat, they can breed at astonishing rates. If left unaddressed, you could have a major infestation and a very itchy summer. If you have a particularly nasty mosquito problem, hiring a pest control specialist to handle it is a good idea.

Stinging Insects 

Florida is home to several different species of stinging insects. Wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets are all fairly common. Their stings, though not necessarily deadly, are painful and can cause life-threatening allergic reactions in some people. These stinging insects also tend to swarm en masse when they feel that their hives are being threatened — because of this potential risk, it is generally recommended that you hire a professional to remove any nests that are on your property.

Regarding the heat, most stinging insects are fairly active in the summer before going dormant when temperatures cool off. The species you’ll find in Florida tend not to be aggressive unless they feel threatened.

However, just as humans get irritable when hot and dehydrated, so do insects. When temperatures rise and water becomes less accessible, stinging insects become more aggressive. With summer reaching its peak, it’s a good idea to get any wasp, yellow jacket, or hornet nest removed before your problem gets worse.

Ants and Termites

Usually, when ants and termites interact with humans, they’re after food. Ants will invade your home hunting for food in your kitchen or other cluttered rooms to bring back to their colonies, while termites (especially drywood termites) will eat the wood in furniture and the structure of houses and decks. Both are major nuisances that can be exceedingly difficult to remove, and termites can cause exceedingly expensive repairs if allowed to infest for an extended period of time. While there are some DIY solutions for getting rid of ants, drywood termites should be dealt with by a professional

The good news is that neither termites nor ants can live in extreme Florida temperatures of at least 100 degrees. The bad news is that they’ve found ways around this problem  and are exceptionally skilled at surviving even though the heat can kill them, as oftentimes they find refuge in human-made structures and buildings. So despite the fact that they are vulnerable in extreme temperatures, they likely won’t become less of a nuisance. 

What Are Heat Bugs?

The name “heat bug” specifically refers to cicadas, a species of insect native to Florida and active in the summer months. Though they are rarely seen, the sound they produce is extremely recognizable and can be heard all summer long. 

The cicadas native to Florida are considered annual species because they come out every year, unlike some northern species, which stay dormant for 15 to 17 years. Though they are often confused with locusts, they are a completely separate species and nowhere near as hazardous to native plant life.

Cicadas generally are not considered a pest species. They tend to keep their distance from humans, don’t bite or sting, and don’t destroy lawns or gardens. They do leave their molted shells around, but they’re easy to remove and get rid of and don’t cause much damage, if any.

Summer Pest Control With McCall Service

There are some simple solutions to prevent some pest infestations, such as:

  • Getting rid of stagnant water to prevent mosquito breeding
  • Keeping trash can lids closed tightly to prevent pests from getting food. This will assist in keeping pests, stinging insects, and wildlife from being attracted to your residence in search of food. 
  • Cleaning messes in your home to prevent an ant infestation.

However, these preventative tips won’t always be enough to completely eliminate pests. Hire a pest control expert from McCall Service to eliminate your pest problems. Request a free quote or give us a call today.

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