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2016 Pest Trends

It’s looking like this year could be a big one when it comes to pests. If you run a business, the last thing you might be worrying about is pests. However, weather patterns will likely bring problems with biting insects, rodents and new species in 2016.

Here are the top 5 pest trends to keep in mind for 2016:

1. El Niño

According to Judy Black, Board Certified Entomologist and Vice President of Technical Services at Steritech, there is no doubt that the wild temperature variations and the increased moisture brought on by El Nino will have an impact on pests.

“Pests are extremely sensitive to environmental conditions, and El Nino could wreak havoc with pests’ biological and geographical activity,” Black explains. “Warmer than normal temperatures in areas that experience cold could mean extended seasons of pest activity; pests may have extra life cycles due to a lengthened warm season or may not experience a die-off due to cold weather.”

Black continues, “In addition to increased pest activity outside, heavy rains and flooding could lead to higher-than-usual pest pressures inside structures as insects and rodents look to escape excess moisture. Structures themselves may also experience damage, which could lead to increased pest activity.”

2. Watch Out for More Mosquitoes

In 2015 the rainfall amounts across the United States set records. Throughout the year there were floods in the Pacific Northwest as well as Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina and Florida. All of that moisture and stagnant water could lead to an increase in mosquito activity in 2016

With the increase in mosquito activity comes the increased risk of the diseases that they carry. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in December there were still cases of West Nile virus being reported. There have also been incidents of other mosquito-borne diseases in recent years that were initially thought to exist only in the tropics, like dengue fever and chikungunya, according to Black.

3. Fruit Flies

Fruit fly

In some areas of the country, and for businesses such as restaurants and food-handling companies, there are few pests more of a nuisance than fruit flies. To stop them from making your business a haven for them, steps need to be taken that go to the very source of the issue

“More and more, we’re finding that the dark-eyed fruit fly, and not the red-eyed fruit fly, is taking prevalence in restaurants. This is an important distinction for commercial kitchen managers because it may help with elimination and prevention strategies,” Black explains. “Where red-eyed fruit flies prefer to breed in decaying produce and fruits, dark-eyed fruit flies will more often exploit the decaying organic matter that can build up inside drains, specifically in drains that serve soda and beer lines.”

4. The Turkestan Cockroach

Did you know, that in recent years, there has been a slow takeover and invasion in the world of cockroaches. Traditionally in the states, the two major forms of large cockroach businesses had to deal with were American and Oriental cockroaches. They have been found across the country, but particularly in warm weather areas.

Now, there are new and different species of cockroach that have been found in the U.S. and Black believes that the Turkestan cockroach, which has been found in the Southwestern United States, will start to spread out to other areas. The Turkestan cockroach has been present in the U.S. since the late 1970s, so it’s not a new species, but it is gradually expanding its territory.

They key when dealing with cockroaches is to properly identify which species you are dealing with. The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of money treating for a species that you don’t have and shouldn’t be worrying about.

As for Turkestan cockroaches, they usually invade businesses or properties from the exterior and the good news is that they are not breeders once they get inside, which groups them among the insects known as occasional invaders. They are caramel colored than the darker American or Oriental roaches that are just about the same size.

Turkestan roaches can be brought into an environment through landscaping materials. The best way to combat them at your business is to notify whatever pest management company you use that you are about to receive a delivery of things like mulch or other landscaping material. That way the pest control company can do preventative treatments to stop them from getting inside.

5. Bed Bugs in the Office

Bed bug on skin

Bed bugs. The two words probably conjure all kinds of horrible images of their tiny bodies, the skins they leave behind, and the red bites they leave on people. If you do a Google search, you’ll quickly see that they are all over the country, and have been reported around the world. In North America, bed bugs are a real problem for homes and hospitality businesses such as hotels.

Well, here’s the negative news for 2016. Black predicts that bed bugs will continue to make headlines, and not in a good way

In recent months, the news about bed bugs has become even more disturbing. Offices are finding them in cubicles and open-office plans. According to Black, most of the time this does not mean an active infestation, but that just a few of the live pests have managed to get inside.

To stop a full-blown infestation, business owners and office managers need to take a proactive approach to stopping them. Many pest control companies offer canine bed bug inspections that can find potential problems before they become huge. It might also be a good idea to educate employees about how bed bugs spread and how to make sure their workspace is not the kind of place that they’ll want to nest. Also, inform employees that if they find any indication of bed bugs, to let management know as soon as possible.

Those are the pest trends for 2016 that our experts are seeing. If you think you have a potential pest problems, be sure to call the experts at Ehrlich for a site inspection.

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