Drought Brings on the Bugs

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Pest controllers are pumping away, day after day, trying to keep back this Summer's spike in infestations.

With drought conditions not seen in the Basin since the 1950s, local exterminators said insects are more persistent now than they've ever been.

"In a normal Summer, a lot of insects avoid humans," Nancy Whitten, Owner of Boydstun Pest Control in Midland, said. "They stay in cracks and crevices in the day time. In drought conditions that are as bad as this is, those kinds of things can't stay in cracks and crevices. They're coming out and getting into our space."

Bugs are crawling out to get to food and water.

Exterminators said bugs like ticks thrive in the Summer, living off the blood of pets and homeowners instead of water.

But some insects pose bigger threats like scorpions, which also climb through any crack to get to water.

Wildlife specialists at the Sibley Nature Center in Midland said this is just a symptom of the way wildlife is changing under this drought.

"It's creating a lot of extra stress," Museum Specialist, Michael Nickell, said. "We're having shortages of water and we have excess amounts of heat. Ants are very common getting into houses, especially when they're in search for water. You might find them around the drain pipes or underneath the sinks in your house."

NewsWest 9 asked pest controllers how many calls they're up to seeing a day.

"Oh, honey, a bunch," Whitten said. "We do about 50 a day. 50 drops a day. Every day, five days a week."

That's just in Midland.

In order to keep your home from being invaded, exterminators recommend starting with a clean home, washing any dirty dishes in the sink and picking up any piles of dirty laundry which scorpions can hide under.

"Sanitation will help a lot for all of the problems, because then you take out the food supply that's sitting left on that plate," Whitten said. "Sanitation is important."

Exterminators said the best way to keep the bugs out is to call a professional and make sure there's nothing in your home to draw the critters in.

Another tip pest controllers recommend is to make sure you wrap cracks in pipes leading outside with steel wool to cut off another insect entry point.

If you are currently infested and want to know more about what can be done, you can call Boydstun Pest Control at (432) 683-3112.