How COVID-19 Affects Pests

July 8, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all of us to spend more time at home than ever before as we try to avoid catching and spreading the devastating virus. In Cleveland and neighboring areas, countless offices, restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and shopping centers are closed or have limited hours, so many of us are now working from home, eating from home, and watching movies at home. The need for a clean and healthy home has never been greater, but with so much more fixing and eating meals in our kitchens, generating more and more garbage and waste, it’s also more of a challenge to keep it clean and healthy.

People Staying Home

Not only that, but with so many people spending more time at home, animal and insect populations have reclaimed popular outdoor spaces, from local hiking trails to school playgrounds. Pests, of course, go where there’s food to be found. With restaurants, offices, and entertainment venues closed, pests are learning that most of the food to be found is now mostly in people’s homes. Trash, gardens, and pantries all offer pests ample treats, so we should try to be extra vigilant when keeping these places clean and organized. It is easier to keep pests such as mice and rats out than it is to extract them once they’ve become established in a place.

Less Cars Make a Difference

Bees and other insects, too, are seeing resurgent populations. One cause is that with less traffic, there are fewer vehicles whipping around killing bugs. It’s been estimated that North American traffic kills up to 24 billion bees and wasps every year. With traffic during the pandemic a fraction of its usual volume, billions of bees and wasps are alive today that may otherwise have perished on a windshield.

Skies Are Clearer and Air is Better

Another factor contributing to a rise in bee and wasp populations is that with less traffic, there is less air pollution, improving the quality of the environment in which the bees live and encouraging their growth. Air pollution can disrupt the scent signals bees need to pollinate flowers. With pollution levels during the pandemic significantly lower, bees are able to pollinate more flowers, allowing their populations to thrive and grow.

These insects commonly build nests and hives in our yards, garages, and sheds. With adults working from home and children unable to go to summer school or sleepaway camp, our backyards and porches have become one of the few safe spaces where we can get sunlight and fresh air. Making sure these safe spaces are just that should be a priority.

The Effects of COVID-19 Are Far Reaching

Living through the COVID-19 pandemic requires recognizing how our lives have changed and what actions are necessary to make sure the changes are healthy and safe. We are now spending more time at home, and while this does allow us to spend more time with our loved ones, it also means making sure our loved ones are safe and protected. With pest populations rising due to the pandemic, it is a good idea to make sure your home is safe. Fortunately, in Cleveland and the rest of Ohio, exterminators and pest control are considered essential businesses, so we are open and ready to help. If you have questions, call us. We can advise you on how best to protect you, your family, and your home.