Climate changes are on the agenda everywhere, and lately we have all been following the COP26 (United Nations Climate Change Conference of 2021) which sought to make international agreements on how to handle the climate changes. However, in a pest control perspective, what is the impact of climate changes on pests?
Warmer temperatures and larger insects
The change in climatic conditions is a significant factor that has contributed to the growth of the insect pest control market. This is attributed to global warming, which leads to changes in the population dynamics of insects and their ecosystems. Warmer temperatures as a result of climate changes affect the distribution and infestation of insect species. As many pests are more prevalent in warmer climates, rising global temperatures exacerbate the risk they pose to both public health and food production. One such region where the growth of pest control is impacted by the climate changes is the Asia Pacific who’s climate is increasingly getting warmer and more humid.
Mild winters also cause pest problems
Not only does the warmer temperatures mean more insects, but some of them also become larger, than if they were living in cooler areas. Long summers make insect populations breed for longer periods of time during the year, allowing them to add more generations and multiply during each seasonal cycle. When pest populations spread or move to a new habitat, high temperature also help to increase their survival rates due to the absence of natural predators which are generally present in their native habitat and limit their growth.
The growth of individual species depends on their geographic range and climatic conditions. Due to the climatic changes, the insect population in mid-to-high latitudes is projected to grow rapidly with the increase in survival rate. There have been instances of insects migrating northward in Europe due to climatic changes.
Climate changes do not only cause pest problems during summer time, but it also causes milder winters. As the consultant and expert in urban rodent control, Dr. Bobby Corrigan, states:
“Winter doesn’t kill as much anymore, because we don’t have hard winters.”
As a result, lice, mites, and other disease-carrying ticks have a higher chance of surviving during mild winters. Many parasites and bugs also rely on rats and mice for survival. In fact, not much research has been conducted on rats and climate change, which makes it slightly unclear to state exactly how climate changes are going to impact rats in the years to come.
The warm temperatures also make ticks and fleas more active, which can cause more spread of diseases. Where there are people, there will be pests as well, but one might question, what challenges this leaves for pest controllers?
What to do as a pest control operator?
Pest prevention and control is becoming more crucial than ever, and in order for pest controllers to keep up, they need the right tools. Digital pest control products are needed in order to keep up with the growing population of pests. Instead of having to spend many resources and time checking traps, that might be empty, pest controllers can benefit from digital traps and tools, as they can:
- Help control pests in a non-toxic manner benefitting the environment.
- Guarantee 24/7 control of rodent activity.
- Provide data on type and number of rodents or insects caught on specific locations..
- Document reaction time.
- Help customers understand and follow the rodent pest control process and ultimately increase customer satisfaction.
Digital traps generate data, which you can analyse and this may help you get an overview of the history and where to focus your work effort.
For insect control you may choose to use a digital camera for identification of insects, and when combining the camera with an AI (Artificial Intelligence) you obtain additional insights and benefit from automatic counting and identification of the insects.
Facts included in this blog post is based upon a confidential report conducted on the Asia Pacific Pest Control Market in 2021 issued by TrapMe and Pelsis.