Why Are There More Bugs in the Summer?

Summertime is the season of fun, with backyard barbecue parties, family camping excursions, cross-country road trips, and so much more.

And even when you’re having a great time, so are all of the bugs. From the friendly bees and butterflies to the more annoying mosquitoes, wasps, and ants, even the more destructive termites, it seems that insects love summer just as much as we do!

Why are there more bugs in the summertime? That’s because insects are poikilothermic, or (to put it simply) “cold-blooded”. Which means they’re more active and more prolific in warmer temperatures, such as the summer months.

Poikilotherms vs Homeotherms

Insects have traditionally been considered as poikilotherms, which means their body temperature is largely dependent on the temperature of the environment, and as such, varies from season to season, or what’s going on around them.

Humans and mammals are homeothermic, which is the exact opposite of being poikilothermic. This means we are able to keep a fairly stable internal body temperature regardless of how warm or cold it is outside.

As in the case of insects (and most other poikilothermic creatures like fish, amphibians, and reptiles), their biological processes are largely dependent on the ambient temperature. This means they rely much on the environment for both their natural development and their patterns of behavior.

What Happens to Bugs in the Summer?

Summer just seems to bring out the worst in insect populations. As ambient temperature increases, insects also see an increase in development, locomotion, population growth and metabolism.

What this means is that during the warm summer months, insects become increasingly healthier, they become more active, they’ll eat more, and reproduce more until they’ve run the course of their short life span (i.e. they die).

At even higher temperatures, such as in the case of a really bad heat wave, bugs will die because they simply just dry out. The fluids in their insect bodies start melting and evaporating at higher temperatures, and there’s just no way they can quickly replenish moisture faster than they’re losing it.

Conversely, when temperatures drop (such as during the winter season), the biochemical processes in their bodies simply don’t have enough energy to proceed. As a result, they must either enter some form of hibernation or die.

Of course, that’s just a generalization. Some insects have distinct behavior patterns in summer weather.

  • Butterflies can only fly when the temperature is warm enough.
  • The way crickets chirp is an indication of how warm it is. The warmer the weather, the more chirps you hear per second.
  • Wasps tend to be more aggressive during the summer, as they “consume” more alcohol from fermenting fruit.
  • Bees can get “drunk” as well, sometimes exhibiting patterns of excessive grooming, loitering, or moving aimlessly.
  • Mosquitoes also tend to seek out people who have had some alcohol (versus those who haven’t).

Warmer Weather Means More Predatory Insects as Well

Rising insect populations also means there’s more food to be had by predatory insects.

Ladybugs, praying mantises, certain species of wasps, and flower flies (or hoverflies) are just some insects that benefit from the increase in aphids, ants, flies, and other small prey species.

These predator species have a much easier time catching a bite to eat within the summer, and in a way, serves as a sort of a natural pest control measure for your home and garden.

A Final Word

Summer months give insects the warmth they need to thrive. From the more annoying and destructive household pests to the more beneficial bugs that help control the population of nuisance critters, we’re talking about all sorts of insects across the board.

Is the season’s population explosion of bugs and insects wearing you down? Rocklin Pest Control is just a phone call away, ready to take care of your summer pest control needs.

Our team of expert pest control professionals has been in business for years. We’ll be happy to have a look at your home and recommend the best course of action to be bug-free this summer.

Sources

  1. Animals.Mom.Me
  2. The Conversation
  3. Today’s Homeowner
  4. Lifehacker