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A Bug’s Delight: El Niño's Potential Downpour

The wet wrath of El Niño has been predicted to fall this winter. Such an event might bring a welcome relief to California's parched and water-deprived lands, but it also means the likelihood of an increase in an array of pesky bug species.

 

What's Being Predicted

 

Somewhat jokingly, extreme El Niño winters have been given the designation of "Godzilla," which can refer to the sometimes devastatingly monstrous effects of torrential downpours on lands unused to absorbing that much moisture. As we saw at Laguna Beach in February of 1998, these excessively large storm systems brew rain clouds of tremendous gray rage which can be the cause of natural disasters such as mudslides. An El Niño causes light, wet winters with moist, rain-dominated springs. Such a dreaded El Niño on the horizon could mean a change in insect inhabitation across the United States.

 

Why More Creepy Crawlies?

 

Milder winters and warmer, moister springs can mean the early emergence of many agitating bug species such as ants, termites, and other pests. These bugs will likely seek refuge indoors from the weather and will have an early start on seeking out food and engaging in the mating process. These more tolerant seasons, due to El Niño's effects, will probably cause a rise in the populations of these unwelcome insects, making them more abundant and irritating nation-wide.

No matter which region of the U.S. you happen to live in, primary invasive pests are ants and termites. In the south, with or without El Niño's sway, there are already several varieties of ants reported to be milling about residential areas, some of which are aggressive enough to run the dreaded fire ants out of town. With the prediction of a milder winter and spring, more attention should be paid to the insects roaming around indoors and out. Prepare yourself for a potential invasion of insects who won't hesitate to invite themselves to come inside from the rain.