Droughts are a recurring feature of the Californian climate – with dry and hot weather a common characteristic of the state. However, climate change seems to be exacerbating the severity of droughts across the Southwestern United States.
Due to this, droughts have had a major impact on a large proportion of the states climate, tarnishing 80% of the human water use in the farming sectors – as growers received nearly 50% less surface water in 2015. The lack of water has naturally affected industries on a large scale as well as the ecosystem around the area.
So what does this have to do with pest control?
The drought has had major effects on pest activity. During the drought, high temperatures and a lack of moisture have seen rural pests migrate to urban centers to seek refuge.
Indeed, due to the lack of sustenance in agricultural regions, pests – insects and rodents alike – began moving toward cities to survive. That’s where they have sought out a friendlier environment. Pests are attracted to buildings with sources of food and water, and for some, a place to cool off as well. If you have seen more pests around your home the past few years, the drought is most probably a big contributor to that.
Recent events have created a perfect storm for pests. While the drought-stricken desert pushed pests toward urban areas, other factors attracted them as well. The reduction in water usage – specifically from lawn sprinklers, hoses, and outdoor pools – also forced them indoors to seek moisture. In addition, tree deaths from fungal infections became common, urging pests to seek shade and fruit elsewhere.
Ants and Droughts
During the dry and humid conditions, ants are tenacious in their attempt to find water supplies. The usual places where ants get water, typically from early morning dew, soil, puddles and plants are shrinking, leaving only one resort; your home or business where humans and animals congregate.
Extended periods of dry weather will affect the ants’ food supply, which will cause them to venture out beyond their natural habitat more frequently. Ants generally will create their ant colonies in and around your home so that they can have better access to readily available food and water. That’s why a regular maintenance plan for controlling ants and other pests is so important year round.
We are frequently hearing customers say that ants are infesting their home on a grand scale – often to a much greater extent than other insects. The ant migration is particularly noticeable because other insects are affected differently by the drought. When termites need water, they burrow deeper into the ground, making them less visible and harder to track. Area cockroaches regularly nest inside homes anyway, so they don’t exhibit the same en masse movement indoors.
Consequently, when a stream of ants – typically found outdoors – infests your home, this automatically gets your attention, raises concerns of how big the infestation will get and sends you looking for solutions to resolve the problem.
Negative effects of ants in your home
While ants may seem like a slight inconvenience, their presence within your home can be more damaging than you think.
It is widely regarded that ants can threaten the structural integrity of your home. While they may not directly consume wood like termites, they can still create tunnels and crevices inside your walls which can hollow the wood overtime. This is particularly common amongst carpenter ants who thrive in damp climates in your walls – which will only be heightened by the droughts outside.
Another problem with ants is that they come en masse. You may only see a few ants trickling into your home from the front door, when in reality, they are likely to belong to a colony with around 100,000 members. In large masses, they can also be extremely difficult to get rid of, particularly when they are hidden in tiny crevices in your walls.
Why Call Pest Control
Unfortunately, as the climate continues to display drastic weather conditions, California temperatures will continue to rise and droughts will thus be a cyclical occurrence during the summer, and sometimes winter seasons. Due to this, pesky ants are likely to invade your homes to find the nearest and easiest water and food supplies.
Our Planet Orange Pest Control Team is here to help you identify the type of ants, where they are coming from and how to control the population or eliminate the colony completely. This way you can rest easy, knowing you don’t have tiny, crawling insects quietly wreaking havoc in your home. Our treatment plans include Eco-Friendly and Synthetic options depending on our current or ongoing pest issue. We have one time services and monthly or bi-monthly service options available to help.