Dry weather bringing the bugs out

July 3, 2009 3:23:50 PM PDT
If you're seeing more creepy crawlers in your home, you are not alone. The hot weather is behind the increase in ants and roaches inside houses and garages. So what can you do about it?

Keeping your home clean can keep infestations from happening, but it does not stop them from coming in to look for water and that's the reason insects are invading right now.

There is no doubt Florence Schnurr keeps a clean home. Still, she's been seeing a lot of bugs lately.

"I was sitting in my breakfast room and I saw something crawling across my floor and I said, 'Oh no'," said Schnurr.

Schnurr has lived in Houston all her life, so she knows when the weather turns dry, the insects come calling.

"I usually have the house exterminated twice a year because I know they are going to come," she said. "When it gets wet, they come in and when it gets dry, they come in."

So at the first sign of trouble, Schnurr called her exterminator for a re-treatment.

"Usually under sinks, inside bathrooms, anywhere a pipe may be going into a wall, that's where a cockroach could enter into a home," said exterminator Mauro Zapata with Windfern pest control.

Zapata has been fielding a lot of those calls in the last two weeks.

"Bugs are getting into houses because of the heat, because it is so hot and so dry," he said.

Zapata says the extreme dry weather is bringing out ants and roaches in the search of water.

"Insects do tend want to come inside," said Zapata. "That's where it is cooler and that's where the food is and that's where the water is. Insects have to have water. Without water, they are going to die."

Besides spraying for bugs, there are a few things you can do to keep the pests on the outside.

"A study done a few years ago said that 85 percent of bugs come in through the doors, so sealing your doors," said Skip Marlow with Bay Area Pest Control. "if you see light around a door when it is shut, you might as well leave it open."

Marlow is an exterminator in Friendswood. He says keeping mulch and leaves away from your foundation can also keep bugs at bay.

"You should have about four inches of your foundation showing, keeping the mulch away from the weep holes and for draining and that helps," said Marlow.

One bit of good news with all this dry weather is that there are fewer mosquitoes. Dry weather means fewer places for the mosquitoes to breed, so at least one good thing is coming from the near drought.

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