We’ve taken into account climate change, natural disasters, worldwide pandemics, pest behaviors, and surveyed our field managers from all areas across the United States to bring you our much anticipated 2022 Pest Predictions.
There are several common denominators responsible for the anticipated increase in pest activity—climate change, natural disasters, and the pandemic of 2020. And, although these top 5 pests are consistently at the top of our list, 2022 brings with it additional concerns and the need to be more proactive about reducing your risks.
What are the TOP 5 pests in 2022?
It isn’t a mystery why rats have survived as long as they have, and continue to flourish. Rodents are incredibly adept at surviving in all types of conditions and 2020 was no exception.
During a time when restaurants and cities across the nation had completely shut down, rats didn’t starve. Instead, they became resourceful, shifting their focus to urban neighborhoods where people were stockpiling food and toilet paper to ride out the pandemic.
Fast forward to 2021. Cities reopen, yet rat activity in residential areas continues to persist. Rodents that had taken up residency early on in 2020, now had established burrows, allowing them to forage and reproduce with little interference. And, to make matters worse, wildfires and flooding contribute to the rise, forcing rodents and other wildlife to flee from their natural habitats and seek shelter.
Mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile, chikungunya, eastern equine encephalitis, and heartworm are on the rise.
Changes in weather – flooding and milder winters – have allowed mosquito populations to flourish, reproduce year-round, and migrate to new areas. New mosquito species are being discovered and populations have become increasingly dense.
The push for social distancing in 2020 and 2021 changed the way many people live. Now that people are working from home, many have become pet owners, and the majority seem to be spending more time outdoors than ever before. This new way of living increases the risk of contracting a mosquito-borne illness for people and pets.
Taking proactive steps to reduce mosquito populations living in and around your yard can significantly reduce health risks associated with mosquitoes.
Because of their size and ability to go undetected for days, ticks are especially dangerous. Similar to mosquitoes, tick populations and species continue to flourish due to climate change. The milder winters allow for extended reproduction periods.
And, because ticks tend to hitchhike on wild and domestic animals, they can easily be transported and spread to areas outside of their normal habitats, spreading diseases that are not common to some areas.
Factoring in the pandemic shift – more people spending time outdoors and more people owning pets – tick encounters and activity are now a year-round concern.
Reduce tick and mosquito populations in your yard with our targeted mosquito and tick control plan.
There’s nothing more troubling than being bitten by bed bugs, especially in your own home. And, although we’d love to report that while cities were shut down, bed bug populations died off, the reality is that adult bed bugs can survive months without feeding on a host.
Expect 2022 to be a bumper crop of bed bug activity. As more people return to travel, bed bug populations will begin to thrive. Contributing to their rise are reduced housekeeping protocols and labor shortages. This makes it especially important for travelers to thoroughly check their baggage and personal belongings for bed bugs before returning home.
Termites are a year-round concern and always have been. What’s especially concerning is that some areas that were not prone to termites are now seeing some activity as we move into 2022.
What’s driving this continued expansion is heavy rains, flooding, and climate change. These environmental factors contribute to prolonged termite activity, allowing termite species such as the subterranean and drywood to spread and flourish.
Being proactive and implementing an annual termite inspection for your home or business is a great line item to add to your ‘to do’ list for 2022.
Other pests to watch for
Although these pests did not make our Top 5 list, they still require preventative measures to keep them out of your house.
The majority of ant colonies live underground and thrive in warmer climates. Flooding and climate change can dramatically impact their behavior. In areas that experience an increase in rainfall, ants will seek higher and drier ground. If they’re living in your backyard, it may mean moving their colony into the walls of your home.
Milder winters provide ant colonies with the resources needed to grow larger and spread out into areas where they may not have thrived before. Because of this, homeowners can expect to see an increase in ant activity in 2022. Some of which may include species of ants that have migrated to a new area.
Areas with hot weather and reduced trash collection efforts are seeing a large increase in fly activity. This increase impacts surrounding businesses and residents alike. Also to blame for the rise is an increase in rainfall – fly populations thrive in moist, warm environments.
In addition to being a huge nuisance, house flies are extremely effective at transmitting food-borne bacteria. This is a key reason not to overlook any increase in fly activity.
Additionally, a large presence of flies can indicate an infestation or a secondary pest concern such as a decomposing animal in a wall, attic, or garage. Contact an expert at the first sign of fly activity to avoid risks associated with these filthy pests.
Until the northern giant hornet, formerly the Asian giant hornet, is completely eradicated from the United States, its presence will continue to make headlines. Worries of its migration south of Washington fuels fears and keeps the U. S. Department of Agriculture on high alert.
Our experts do not expect to see an increase in murder hornet activity. However, due to climate change, stinging insect activity will begin earlier and last longer into the season.
#1 Resolution for 2022: Pest-free home
Protecting your home and family from risks associated with pests is as easy as a phone call. Don’t wait until your pest problems result in costly home repairs, or you or someone in your family becomes sick from a pest-borne illness or suffers an allergic reaction. Start 2022 off strong with a preventative plan of action that is guaranteed to provide you peace of mind all year long.
Learn more about Western’s guaranteed year-round pest control.