From what we gather from professionals in the know, the weather conditions these last couple of months have been conducive to the rapid multiplication and spread of some of those creepy, crawly and flying things that we normally like to avoid this time of year.
Here’s a list of some of the pests we are interested in from a poison information specialist’s point of view:
- Mosquitoes– As of July 31, over 800 mosquitoes tested have been shown to be infected with the West Nile Virus in Illinois. In the United States, a total of 241 cases of West Nile Virus, including four deaths, have been reported to the CDC. This is the highest number of cases reported through the end of July since 2004. In Illinois, there have been 6 human cases, and no deaths as of August 9.
- Black Widow spiders– Record heats are causing a breeding bonanza for spiders. According to Mark Lasater with The Bug Guy pest control company, “The heat will incubate the [black widow spider] eggs and they will lay eggs and produce hundreds.”
- Bats– Due to the increase in population of bugs, bats have an “all-you-can-eat-bug-buffet” every day which increases the bat population. As reported in a previous blog, bats are one of the most common carriers of rabies. Click here to read our Rabies Blog.
- Centipedes– The hot and dry weather is increasing the number of centipedes human homes. They are searching for damp areas to relax such as the kitchen, bathroom or basement.
- Snakes– With an increase in the number of bats comes an increase in snakes. Perfect example of the food chain balancing out. Click here to learn more about snakebites.
And what do people naturally do when there are more of these pesky varmints to deal with? You got it! They are going to try to zap those buggers with a variety of pesticides including insect killers and mouse/rat poison baits. This of course can increase the risk of accidental poisoning by small children, pets, or over-aggressive adults who intentionally use more of a product than safely recommended on the product label.
Just when you thought that the hot baking sunshine was frying those nuisance pests to a crispy crunch, we gave you the bad news–they are loving it and replicating in larger numbers. As always, be careful, be vigilant, and review our previous blogs which deal with summertime and pesticide safety linked to above.
And remember, for any poisoning emergency call the Illinois Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 and speak to one of our experts who are, fortunately, available to help you 24/7 in our thankfully climate controlled, pest free office. Keep cool!