Heat-loving pests get an early start. I found this great article in the Times by: Sara Dinatale. I took a few editing liberties, and added a few thoughts of my own. A shortage of cooler weather leads to an abundance of fleas, ants, & termites. Mother Nature isn't doing its part and now we are finding supersized colonies. Supersize is OK at McDonalds, but not when it comes to pests in your yard or home.
The fleas are out. The ants are, too. Have you noticed the ants, Carpenter Ants, and the termites? They're just getting started. Floridians know bugs, but if you feel like you're fighting off more pests than usual - well, it's not your imagination! Local exterminators have noticed it, too. The culprit? The winter that never really was.
The National Weather Service reported that this winter tied for the second warmest winter recorded since Tampa started keeping track back in 1890. This makes it easier for pests to multiply and continue to reproduce. Mainly the ants. A National pest control company said its noticed an increase in complaints across the state about ants and termites this winter - much earlier than usual, causing grief for homeowners.
The warmest winter on record for the region was the winter of 1931-1932, which averaged 10.3 degrees, according to the weather service. This winter, with only minor cold spells lasting a couple days at most, the average temperature was 68.4 degrees. This is about 6 degrees warmer than the norm. Florida's weather is already pretty conducive for insects, but the unseasonably warm winter put them into overdrive.
"They're going to be more active because they're going to develop faster," said University of Florida entomologist and professor William Kern. "When it's cool out, it tends to slow their development and they spend longer time as larvae."
Larvae are defenseless to the elements and predators. But in warmer weather, the quicker they develop into pupae, the sooner they're protected by their nearly impenetrable cocoons. That's what protects them as they grow into the adults insects - and the pests that are troubling Floridians today.
"And we haven't had any killing freezes," Kern said, "so we can expect there to be lots and lots of insects."
Fleas are a problematic year-round in Florida. But they may be wreaking more havoc than usual this winter. A national pest control company reported a 62% increase in flea calls this year compared to last in Tampa. The state as a whole had a 32% increase. I know we, at Safari Pest Control have had an over abundance of call for fleas so far this year, compared to last.
The warm weather and lack of rain these past few months has allowed the fleas to flourish. They have escaped drowning in standing water. They're active, latching onto your pets, even the ones medicated against fleas. Using medication on pets is imperative, but that may not be enough said a pest control owner in Largo. Some fleas grow immune to the pesticides. Be sure to rotate products every year.
There has been more than just an invasion of bugs. We at Safari Pest Control, along with the pest control company in Largo and I am sure most companies have seen more calls for rodents. Mr. Kern said that could be because of the fall's bumper of acorns: little fruit rats born in the midst of a rich food supply are now growing into adult rats seeking out citrus. And as higher temps roll in , Tamps Bay's pest problems could become even more persistent!
Rick F. from a local Termite Company suspects this summer's termite season will be worse than the last. A swarm of termites from Asia has already flown in at the start of March, even though they usually come later in the month.
It's like the Tampa Bay area can't catch a break. This season is going to be incredible for fleas, bees, ants, and termites.
If you are noticing a problem with ants, fleas, bees, rodents, or any other pest (except termites) call Safari Pest Control, LLC. We look forward to earning your business by offering you our 100% satisfaction guarantee, our in-depth knowledge of the pest control industry, excellent customer service, and affordable pricing.