El Nino 2015/16 Likely to Bring a Pest Surge with It


November 18, 2015

Some interesting news from the wire yesterday: Orkin released a report (that’s received a fair amount of coverage in mainstream news) regarding the expected heavy rains coming, courtesy of the El Nino weather system, to the Southern U.S. From California to the Carolinas and parts the Eastern seaboard, rainy conditions are expected to saturate these parts of the country much more than what’s typical this time of year.

October and November are usually drier and cooler, which causes mosquito numbers to decline. According to the Orkin report, this year is very likely to be an exception.

The 1997-98 El Nino was the warmest and wettest in 104 years, according to The Weather Channel, a fact that begs comparison with this year. The National Center for Atmospheric Research reveals striking similarities between this year’s sea surface temperatures and the record-breaking El Nino of 18 years ago. Experts say El Nino 2015/16 is likely to peak and continue during the winter.

The bottom line for our readers is how flooding conditions, a common component of an El Nino season, will affect pests. Mosquitoes, the most obvious example, will find themselves displaced by flooding. Additionally, they only need a few inches of standing water and temperatures above freezing to breed and thrive.

According to the report other pests likely to be affected by flooding include ants, fire ants, rodents, flies, termites, and some occasional invaders, such as centipedes, millipedes.


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