Meteorologists are all sounding the alarm for a wild summer of 2024, with extreme weather expected to rock most of the continental USA. Yes, we're talking heatwaves, storms, floods, and tornadoes. But wait, there’s more!

Brace yourself for a lesser-known yet equally annoying consequence: a surge in bug activity. They might not be as dramatic as a tornado, but these little pests can turn your summer into a real-life horror show and empty your wallet in the process.

Oh, great! As if mosquitoes weren’t already a big enough pain, now we’ve got this whole ensemble of pests ready to join the summer party. You’d think we could catch a break, but nope! Here comes the pest parade for North Dakota:

North Dakota's Bug Bonanza

This summer, North Dakota is in for a warmer and drier treat, which sounds lovely until you realize it’s a perfect recipe for a bug invasion.

Get ready to deal with ants, rodents, spiders, boxelder bugs, crickets, millipedes, and stink bugs on top of your usual mosquito woes. Thanks to Zachary Smith from The Pest Dude, here's the scoop on why these critters are crashing your summer and how to boot them out.

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Ants

  • Why More Frequent: Warm weather boosts their foraging activities, and dry conditions push them indoors.
  • Treatment:
    • Ant Baits and Traps: Place these near entry points and along trails to attract and kill them. Look for bait stations that allow ants to carry the poison back to the colony.
    • Seal Entry Points: Inspect and seal cracks and gaps around windows, doors, and foundations.
    • Maintain Clean Surfaces: Keep kitchen counters, floors, and food storage areas spotless to avoid attracting ants.

Rodents

  • Why More Frequent: Warmer temperatures and increased food sources get rodents more active and breeding.
  • Treatment:
    • Rodent Traps: Use snap traps, glue traps, or live traps to catch and remove them.
    • Seal Entry Points: Check for and seal all the holes, gaps, and cracks around your home.
    • Remove Food Sources: Store food in airtight containers, clean up spills, and remove clutter.

Spiders

  • Why More Frequent: Warm weather means more spider activity and reproduction.
  • Treatment:
    • Reduce Clutter: Get rid of clutter and debris where spiders like to hide.
    • Seal Entry Points: Seal gaps and cracks around your home.
    • Spider Traps: Use sticky traps to catch and monitor spider activity.

Crickets

  • Why More Frequent: Warm weather ramps up cricket activity and breeding.
  • Treatment:
    • Reduce Moisture: Fix leaks and lower humidity levels to make your home less attractive to crickets.
    • Seal Entry Points: Keep gaps and cracks sealed to prevent crickets from entering.
    • Cricket Baits: Use baits and traps to capture and reduce cricket populations.

Infographic showing the potential increase in pests activity in MT summer 2024

Boxelder Bugs

  • Why More Frequent: Warm weather brings these bugs out in droves.
  • Treatment:
    • Seal Entry Points: Keep them out by sealing gaps and cracks.
    • Remove Boxelder Trees: If possible, get rid of or treat boxelder trees.
    • Vacuuming: Use a vacuum to remove boxelder bugs found indoors.

Millipedes

  • Why More Frequent: They love moist environments and will be seeking shelter.
  • Treatment:
    • Reduce Moisture: Fix leaks and improve drainage.
    • Remove Debris: Clear away leaf litter, mulch, and other debris around your home.
    • Seal Entry Points: Keep millipedes out by sealing gaps and cracks.

Stink Bugs

  • Why More Frequent: Warm weather gets stink bugs moving in search of food and shelter.
  • Treatment:
    • Seal Entry Points: Inspect and seal gaps around windows, doors, and foundations.
    • Vacuuming: Use a vacuum to get rid of them indoors.
    • Insecticides: Apply insecticides labeled for stink bugs around entry points and infested areas.

So, North Dakota, just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, the summer of 2024 brings a whole new level of pest annoyance. Stock up on traps, baits, and sealants because the bugs are coming for you. Good luck!

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Gallery Credit: Jacob Osborn, Nicole Caldwell