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Does Higher Humidity Lead To More Bugs?

If you’ve talked to a single dad in the Upstate, you’ve heard them say, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity!” While this usually leads to a round of polite laughter as everyone continues to swelter in the boiling temperatures, the reality is that most of South Carolina is categorized as a “humid subtropical” climate! This means that we have mild winters but hot, humid summers that last a long time. While this may seem unrelated to what we normally talk about, the humidity doesn’t only affect the temperature and real feel. High humidity can also create a perfect environment for bugs!

Why Does Humidity Affect How Many Bugs I’m Seeing?

If you’ve read anything else from us about bugs, then you know that there are a couple of things that all pests want and need to survive. They need a certain temperature to live, access to a food source, and MOISTURE! That’s where the high humidity comes into play. When the humidity really gets ratcheted up during the summer, several factors shift and help the bugs reproduce.

  1. Increased Humidity Creates More Favorable Living Areas
    • Most bugs need easy access to moisture to survive. Some bugs, like mosquitoes, need standing water to reproduce and multiply. When the humidity is higher, less water is going to evaporate, which means that pests are going to have more options to grow and multiply.
  2. Increased Humidity Leads to Faster Reproduction Rates
    • When the air is warmer and wetter, it allows bugs to move through the reproduction cycle faster. This warm and moist climate is the perfect situation for pests to multiply, so they frequently lay eggs and reproduce. This then turns into a compounding effect as the next generation continues the boom.
  3. Increased Humidity Can Extend Pests’ Lives
    • In addition to the other factors, higher humidity and accompanying warmth can lead to an extended lifespan for a number of pests. This means that in addition to being able to spread further and multiply faster, they can also survive longer and reproduce more. This is another aspect of why bug populations will boom so quickly in the hot, humid summers.

Which Bugs Are Most Affected by Humidity?

  1. Mosquitoes
    • South Carolina’s humid climate is ideal for mosquitoes. They breed in standing water, and the high humidity helps sustain their populations. You can find out more about mosquito life cycles here.
  2. Termites
    • Termites are attracted to moisture, making humid climates like South Carolina a perfect habitat. Subterranean termites, in particular, require moist soil to survive and can cause extensive damage to wooden structures. You can find out more about termites here.
  3. Cockroaches
    • Cockroaches thrive in humid environments. They are often found in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements where moisture levels are high. You can find out more about the most common types of roaches here.
  4. Ants
    • Many species of ants are attracted to moisture, especially carpenter ants, which nest in damp wood. You can find out more about common types of ants here.
  5. Silverfish
    • Silverfish prefer damp, humid environments and are often found in bathrooms, basements, and attics. You can find out more about silverfish here!

Is There Anything You Can Do About It?

While you can’t change the humidity outside, there is a lot you can do to manage humidity in and around your home. Here are some of the most common starting points when it comes to dealing with excess humidity and moisture.

  1. Use Dehumidifiers
  2. Fix Leaks Promptly
  3. Improve Ventilation Around Your Home
  4. Maintain Your Yard and Reduce Standing Water
  5. Seal Entry Points

Humidity plays a significant role in the booming pest population during the summers in South Carolina. By understanding how and why humidity affects these pests, proactive homeowners can work to prevent infestations and protect their property. In addition to moisture control, an effective pest control treatment will help create that barrier to keep pests outside of the home. As always, if you ever need our help, we’re glad to assist!

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