Weather and Pests
Certain pests will be susceptible to variances in weather here in the UK, here is a list of the most prevalent.
The life cycle of the wasp begins with the new fertile Queens breeding with reared Males and collecting food to begin their overwintering, this is usually around September time. This form of hibernation is different than that in mammals as it can begin when temperatures are still quite warm.
When the Queen emerges in Spring she begins building a new nest in which she will lay her eggs, one per cell in the nest. The eggs will hatch into larvae that are fed by the Queen on fragments of insects as a source of protein. This period of growth can be affected by sudden drops in temperature or by heavy rainfall as this can affect food sources. Out of 1000 Queens newly released from old nests in September only between 4 and 1 will actually survive through to having a working, surviving nest. After this pupation the workers begin to increase the size of the nest. If the weather prevents other insects, such as aphids from growing then this can also affect the development of wasp nests and the size of the wasps themselves.
Rats and Mice
They will make there nests within homes in the cold autumn and winter months where central heating and loft insulation provide suitable heating and nest building materials for their survival while searching for food. As the weather improves these loft nests will become hot and cause the rodents to move around outside in potentially cooler areas. With crops growing and with more vegetation providing cover as well, rats and mice will be flush for food sources.
With dry hot summer weather this can reduce levels of rat activity as they are unable to sweat or pant. TO stay cool they will often lay down to try and keep themselves cool, and with waters receding the rats will be seen moving closer to these water sources as they require water each day to survive compared to mice that collect moisture from their food. In the hot weather they may well be drinking more water than eating food.
Pests not affected by weather
Cockroaches and bed bugs are not affected by variances in the temperature and can be prevalent at any time of the year within properties.
The two main types of Cockroach to be found in the UK are the German and Oriental Cockroaches. They can survive at cold temperatures and even some species can live in Artic conditions.
Cockroaches are a mainly nocturnal insect more likely to be seen at night requiring high temperatures, but will survive in low temperatures. They are most commonly found in kitchens, laundry rooms, boiler rooms & anywhere where high temperatures occur. In a kitchen the preferred places for them to live would be near fridge motors, cookers, boilers and washing machines.
Bed bugs are wingless insects and move by crawling or riding from place to place in clothing, bags or luggage. Dispersal can be further increased in places such as cinemas and on public transport. Infestations frequently occur in hotels and other buildings where there is a high turnover of people.
They are reddish brown in colour turning blood red after feeding. The adult grows up to 5mm in length. The female lays her eggs in clusters of 10 to 50. They take an average of 10 days to hatch and can mature into adults within one to two months given ample food. The speed of development depends on temperature and food availability. Surprisingly, bed bugs can live longer without food and can go without feeding for up to 140 days; the adult typically lives for about 10 months but can survive for a year or longer in cool buildings.
For further information please visit the BPCA site.
Call PESTUK on 0800 026 0308 or 0330 100 2811