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Does Drought Cause Insects to Migrate Indoors?

mosquito eggs floating on water like a raft

Have you noticed an increase in insects and pests during times of drought? Is the lack of rain causing more bugs to come into your home or business? Research has found that while the use of pesticides does play a role in keeping pests away, the weather plays a bigger factor in where they wander to. Insects like moderate temperatures and thrive in their natural habitats when left undisturbed. It is the extreme temperatures that typically cause insects to migrate and look for shelter in unwanted places. Since insects are cold-blooded animals, they are deeply affected by the environment in which they live. Excess moisture and lack thereof can cause insects and animals to retreat from their natural homes and into an indoor environment. This is primarily due to an insect’s need for nutrients and how the weather has affected their food sources. When plants do not get the appropriate amount of water, such as during a drought, they are not very nutrient-dense. This lack of nutrients causes the insects to look for food in atypical places and then find refuge there. If you have seen an increase in pests in your home or business during drought-like times, this is due to the strong correlation between the weather and the animal kingdom. 

Do insects need water to survive?

Like most living things, insects need water to survive and thrive. There are many ways that insects can get water, which is primarily dependent upon their diet. Most insects fall into the grouping of carnivores or herbivores, but some are a mixture of both depending on their life stage. An insect’s water intake is ultimately dependent upon its food source. If an insect is herbivorous, it will get its needed water content from the plants consisting in its diet. If it is carnivorous, the insect will drink water from various things such as fruit, flowers, dew drops, or water puddles. 

What insects need water to reproduce?

Have you ever been to a pond and see copious amounts of gnats and insects hovering over the water? Water tends to be a common breeding ground for insects, and many insects spend their immature lifestage in water before moving onto land as an adult. Insects that reproduce in water include:

  • Dragonflies
  • Mosquitoes
  • Midges
  • Mayflies
  • Damselflies

These aquatic insects eat worms, minnows, and other insects. Some of these insects are eaten by other aquatic insects, and others mature and move out of the water onto land. Once these insects molt their exoskeleton, they evolve and spend their adult life flying and crawling around on land. 

How often do droughts happen in NC?

According to the National Integrated Drought Information System, there have only been six extreme droughts in North Carolina since the system was established in 2000. While North Carolina goes through periods of being categorized as “Abnormally Dry” every few months, it does not reach the “Moderate Drought” level quite as often. The last time North Carolina experienced a drought was in May of this year. Before then, the most previous drought occurred in October of 2019. 

Clegg’s Pest Control

Recently, there has been a drought in North Carolina causing insects to seek water indoors. If you have experienced any kind of insect infestation due to drought, call Clegg’s for help. If you have a pest invasion, we can get it under control for you.

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