The University of Arizona has a very detailed fact sheet on how our weather affects the bugs in our environment. Nevada has some very interesting temperature extremes, and all of them affect the creatures outside your home. Here are some interesting facts about Nevada bugs and how today’s weather forecast may affect them.
Bugs and Monsoon Season
For tourists, Nevada is hot and dry. But there is actually quite a bit of variation in our temperatures and weather conditions. Each affects the pests that bother us in different ways.
Sometimes even the desert blooms. When plants flower it creates additional food sources for insects, including nectar for bees. Additional food sources mean these creatures will have more energy for reproduction and will generally be more active. We see a lot of ant infestations during this time. When bug and rodent populations increase, they spread out and look for new places to live. That could be the wiring in your car, or the walls of your home.
Unfortunately for desert dwellers, the expression, “it doesn’t rain, it pours,” is typical during our annual monsoon season. Monsoon season runs from July to October in southern Nevada. It’s a dangerous time, because flash floods can wreak havoc on roads, cars, homes, and the people that live here.
But what does all that rain do to the pests outside – and sometimes inside – our homes? It turns out that it can help them grow like the flower on a cactus.
The University of Arizona says, “moisture also plays a critical role in insect development, especially in the desert.” Most of the time our less-than-favorite creepy crawlies get moisture through the foods they eat, which is a small amount that can limit their growth. Desert pests have adapted to a constant level of dehydration, and have learned to thrive in the driest conditions. But some bugs take advantage of the additional moisture during monsoon season and experience a growth spurt. For example, crickets love the rain and tend to be more active when it’s wetter outside. All the rain spawns weed growth, which brings in more bugs.
But the heaviest rains often washes the smaller bugs away. A few years ago, monsoon season spawned a wild mustard invasion in Tucson. Remember the panic over the false chinch bugs that came with the desert bloom? Had the rain come back after the false chinch bugs, it would have simply washed the little buggers away.
For most of us, that is generally a good thing.
Bugs and the Desert Heat
Bugs are cold-blooded, or poikilothermic. Like snakes, they are unable to regulate their body temperature beyond that of their environment. That’s partially why our bugs get so darn big in Nevada – all that warm weather can give them a growth spurt. Flight and movement, along with feeding and reproduction, are heavily influenced by temperatures. On the flip side, extreme heat or cold can slow down insect growth. But our desert creatures have adapted to the very cold nights and very hot days that make up the extremes of our desert life.
Pests in Nevada
If you experience a flare up of pests after monsoon season this year, call us. We can help you take back your home and yard.