The Courier
August 6th, 2012

People in the region may have rejoiced when the lack of rain kept mosquitoes from attacking. However, the hot, dry weather has brought other pests to the area and allowed for a “breeding bonanza.”

This summer, there has been an increase in bees, wasps, ants, grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, pillbugs millipedes and earwigs. Certified associate entomologist and Wisconsin pest control master technician Doug Degner, who is a sales and service manager for Sun Prairie-based Wil-Kil Pest Control, said the drought conditions have pushed insects inside.

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Just like humans, many bugs are headed indoors in search of water. This, of course, means more insects have been invading homes.

“Those guys are really migrating in unusually large numbers inside structures,” Degner said.

Bees and wasps have also been very active this summer. He said the nests have been growing at enormous rates. Further, because the population other insects has grown, bees and wasps have more prey to eat.

“We’re seeing things now that we don’t [normally] see until fall,” he said.

The mild winter, warm spring and hot summer contributed to the increased insect populations. Degner said the warmer weather incubates the larva production cycles and increases the volume of insects.

Additionally, even though there has been little rain, early morning dew can sustain the insects. But, this is not enough moisture for mosquitoes survive.

“The lack of rainfall down here has greatly reduced the mosquito population,” he said.

Other insects that have not been surviving as well are cluster flies. This is because the cluster fly lays its eggs on earthworms and uses it as a host. With the worm population being negatively impacted by the drought, the flies were unable to lay many eggs.

Whether these pests are around in fall depends on nature. Degner said many insects don’t survive very well in colder temperatures. But, if the mild temperatures continue, the bugs will be able to live longer.

Additionally, if the warm weather continues, the fall boxelder bug population will be “out of control,” according to Degner. This means the bugs will hibernate in many structures during winter and if the bugs are not eradicated from homes in the fall, the bugs will then reappear in the structure during spring.

“We always have the person that goes ‘Aw, they’ll go away when it gets cold out.’ Well guess what? They’re already in the building by that time and now they have to deal with it until spring time,” he said.

The Wil-Kil employee said the best way for people to keep bugs out of their homes is by applying an exterior residual chemical application. Other options include caulking around entry points such as windows and doors, drying up any wet areas around the home, checking for leaky exterior faucets and using dehumidifiers, which will remove moisture.

To view this article as it appeared in The Courier, click here.

Contact Wil-Kil Pest Control for your pest control needs.

Drought Impact: Wisconsin’s Dry Weather Impacts Bug Populations in Sun Prairie, WI

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