Spring pests are coming early this year! And anyone living in London will know that we’ve had an unusually warm Winter. And the knock on effect of this is that spring pests are emerging earlier, and in greater numbers, than they usually do.
Why are spring pests thriving in greater numbers right now?
The truth is that most pests do not do well in cold weather. In fact, during the winter months they often go into a state of hibernation. Most pests will use hibernation in the Winter months to breed. This is when they lay eggs and then die. The reason why you see so many more pests in warmer weather is because those eggs have hatched.
Warm weather is also the perfect environment for spring pests to grow and thrive. It allows them to move around and search for food. They can easily survive and grow in warm weather.
On the other hand, cold weather makes them hide away. These are the main reasons why you will see many more pests in the Summer months.
Which spring pests are benefiting from this warmer weather?
Almost every type of pest will do better in warm weather. Like most creatures, pests thrive when it’s warm. Some these pests include:
Insects like cockroaches
Cockroaches are nature’s ultimate survivors. And although they can live in any type of climate, these bugs prefer warm moist environments. While cold weather doesn’t kill them, it does slow them down. So the fact that we’re having a warmer Winter simply means they are able to get around better. This basically allows them to find more food and breed like crazy. And this results in increased numbers, once the spring comes around.
Pigeons are sensitive to cold weather and during the winter months they are forced to find shelter. The cold makes them weak, food is harder to find and in some cases they may even die. What’s more, many of the diseases which affect these birds do not do well in cold weather.
For these reasons warm weather allows them to thrive. More of their eggs hatch in this period and more of their chicks survive. All of this means that a warmer Winter results in more pigeons during spring. The same goes for many other birds which could be considered spring pests.
Rats and mice
You can compare these to the pigeon example above. While rats and mice do not hibernate during the Winter, it does have an effect on them. Food is harder to find. Not only that, they need to find a place to shelter and insulate their nests. This means you see less of them during cold weather and conversely, more during warm weather.
But why is it so mild and spring-like now?
Perhaps you’ve wondered why this is happening. Why are we having such warm weather during Winter? There are several reasons for this.
The effects of global warming
Whether you like it or not, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence for global warming. This phenomena affects everything from temperatures to seasons. Some places are getting warmer and others colder, and this has resulted in London experiencing warmer Winters.
You might disagree with this completely. But even if you don’t believe in global warming you have to admit the weather has been strange lately. Over the last few years the seasons have become increasingly odd.
Cities are simply warmer
It’s a known fact that cities are usually a lot warmer than the surrounding areas. This is known as the urban heat island effect. It happens because enormous amounts of heat are created by the city.
Cities also contain large surfaces which attract heat. For example, because tarmac is black, it draws heat into itself. Concrete and other surfaces can also attract and hold heat. And the bigger the city the more pronounced this effect will be.
Funnily enough, this is most evident at night. During the night time cities release heat which has been stored up during the day. And because pests thrive in heat, this greatly benefits them, ultimately resulting in early spring pests.