- Author: Anne Schellman
This summer, the media frequently reported an increase in the density of pests in the home and landscape. The drought has been cited as the cause of these problems. Pest control companies quoted in articles confirm that the demand for their services is much higher this year than in years past.
Sutherland says that landscape drydown has occurred more rapidly in recent years, so there may have been a more dramatic shift from high moisture to low moisture, making the nuisance pests migrate earlier in the year and in a more concentrated manner.
“This is also the first year we've seen dramatic changes made by residents due to mandated water use restrictions. Areas with frequent irrigation and lush landscapes aren't available this year, so nuisance pests like outdoor cockroaches, ants and rodents are migrating from dry areas to seek moisture.”
“Oriental cockroaches are highly dependent on moisture and humidity and not normally found indoors. Outdoors if you have an irrigation control box, leaky hosebib or water meter box, or a French drain system, that's where you'll find them. But if this water supply has been reduced or shut off, this population you didn't even know of (that's existed for years, perhaps) may crawl under doors or into foundation cracks and move indoors in search of water.”
Sutherland advises against relying on perimeter pesticide sprays to treat for nuisance pests since these applications are only effective for a short time and therefore only represent temporary solutions. Instead, Sutherland recommends the using IPM methods, such as exclusion and habitat modification, which provide more long-lasting pest invasion prevention.