What Do Pests Do in The Heat?

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With heat advisories all around, everyone all around the Mid-Atlantic are coming up with creative ways to keep cool.  Yet, we are not the only ones trying to beat the heat, as bugs all around are trying to prevent heatstroke. So, without the great invention of air conditioning, just how do they do it?  Keep on reading to find out!

When it comes to battling the sizzling temperatures of late August, insects have the advantage thanks to being cold-blooded.  In general, they do much better in the heat than in the cold, since the higher temperatures mean that they can thrive, as their body temperature directly relies on the temperature of the air.  However, some incredibly high heat still can spell disaster for insects, but they have nature to thank for coming up with some ingenious ways to beat the heat:

Heat Shock Proteins

In the most scientific way, insects have the ability to use something called a heat shock protein to keep cool in the heat.  To put it simply, their DNA tells cells to release this protein when there is a high environmental stressor—like heat. When it gets too hot, an insect’s cells cannot reproduce in the right manner, so this protein ensures that the cells can reproduce in the right way.  In short, this is the way in which a bug keeps alive on the cellular level when the temperature outside gets well over 100 degrees.

Finding Shade

Science aside, insects still love the shade of a good tree much like humans do.  The same way in which you seek the cool embrace of a shady tree is the same way in which a bug does so, except that they have many more options to choose from thanks to their small size.  For example, on these really hot days don’t be surprised if you find a whole battalion of bugs inside a shrub or under a leaf. It may not reduce the air temperature (read: their internal body temperature), but it will certainly help them feel cooler in the short-run.

Use Air Conditioning

When the going gets tough, don’t think that pests won’t take advantage of one of the greatest inventions ever: air conditioning.  Sure, an ant colony may not have their preferred HVAC worker ant, but you better believe that if they catch wind of a cool home, they will take advantage of it.  Keeping the door or windows open in the summer is bad not only for your air conditioning bill, but also because it will raise the likelihood of a curious pest coming in to take a load off.  Not before long, that lone soldier ant taking a break from his collection duties brings his buddies along, and next thing you know you have a full on ant-party in your kitchen.

Thankfully, that last part can be avoided with some common sense and a great pest control team to devise a defense strategy.  If they aren’t helping to pay the bill, don’t let critters come inside. Instead, let nature do the work and keep them cool the old-fashioned way!

Stay cool out there!

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