Every year, even in areas that experience chilly temps for months, it seems like pests are getting more numerous and ferocious. From scary ticks to biting flies to swarm-happy mosquitoes, each bout of warm, muggy days seems to make the problem a little worse than the time before.
It’s not your imagination. It’s not even your geography. It’s climate change.
Climate change is creating havoc when it comes to pest growth. And here are some major reasons why:
As temps increase, pests thrive
When temperatures rise, as they have been with climate change, it makes the winters warmer and milder. That’s good news for people who hate the deep chill, but it’s really great news for bugs, because it means they’ll survive through the winter and spend those months reproducing.
Also trending upward is pest body temperature. The hotter those buggers get, the more energy they need. That means eating a lot more than they did in the past. That’s already a huge problem for agriculture and it’s likely to become even worse in the near future. Even two degrees of global warming could double the amount of wheat currently lost to pests, for example. That’s projected to happen within just a few decades.
Another significant problem because of those warmer winter months is the survival of ticks, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Much like other kinds of bugs, that gives ticks greater opportunity to breed, find hosts like deer (and pets, people and livestock), and expand into more areas where ticks hadn’t been a problem before.
Flooding brings its own big problems
Heat and humidity are only one part of climate change. There are other effects as well, such as heavier, almost-monsoon-like rains and ample hurricanes. This happens in part because of warmer sea surface temperatures. When you’ve got plenty of standing water and then a spike in humidity, mosquitoes thrive and breed.
Because of that, scientists are predicting that disease-spreading mosquitoes will have even greater reach than before, especially in densely populated urban areas. While illnesses like dengue, Zika, and yellow fever may seem like a danger only to those who travel to certain countries, they could become so common that nearly half the population would be threatened.
This is all troubling, especially when we’re talking about serious disease and food system issues. But maybe all this should galvanize us to work together with more commitment toward making climate change reversal into a top priority. And, in the meantime, use some natural products to eliminate those pests around you without
Think globally, knock out pests locally—and consciously with Aunt Fannie’s Pest products.