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Climate Change and Bug-Borne Diseases

Updated: Oct 31, 2019

Whether or not you think climate change is a man-made event or part of a larger sub-cyclical trend related to a natural, long-term weather pattern, there’s no denying the fact that global temperatures are rising and that our interlinked ecosystems are changing. Last year was the third hottest on record in the US, with an average temperature of 54.6 degrees Fahrenheit — that's a whopping 2.6 degrees F above average.

Climate Change and Bugs

In addition to the impact of climate change on melting icecaps, rising seas, human habitats and countless animals, climate change will also influence the smaller creatures among us. I'm talking about bugs.

Reliable research indicates that warming weather and shifting precipitation are together having a profound effect on both the geographic spread and longevity of a number of disease-carrying insects.

climate change and diseases from bugs

Reading the Signs

Take the case of the common mosquito (Culicidae). There are actually 3,000 species of mosquitoes in the world today and they transmit more diseases than any other creature. And mosquito-spread diseases are especially affected by climate change. Since they lay their eggs in standing water, it should come as no surprise that wetter weather provides mosquitos with habitats that are particularly agreeable.

In addition to spreading malaria, encephalitis and West Nile Virus, mosquitoes can also transmit a disease that’s little known here in the US but is one of the world's most common diseases ̶ Dengue Fever. Each year in the US approximately 1,500 people contract malaria, and between 1999 and 2012 1,500 people are reported to have died after contracting West Nile Virus.

Many Bugs Love the Warmer Weather

This is clearly a problem, but the impact of climate change extends well beyond these particular insects. Fleas, ticks and bed bugs also love the warmer weather. Then there’s the lowly tick. It may look harmless, but it’s not. In fact, ticks have been linked to infections such as Typhus, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (which can be fatal), Lyme disease and other lesser-known diseases like Q Fever, Tularaemia, Bovine Anaplasmosis and Meningoencephalitis.

Of course, you can find ticks virtually anywhere, but you certainly don’t want them in your home or office. So, you need to know how to get rid of ticks quickly and effectively. They generally wait for host animals (your dog, your cat, even you) on grasses and shrubs. Then, when an unsuspecting victim brushes against them, they let go of the vegetation and climb onto the host. And by the way, we do mean ‘crawl’ as ticks cannot fly or jump.

So since it looks like bugs will be an ever-increasing presence in our lives, it behooves all of us to know how to protect ourselves and how to get rid of bugs from our homes and offices.

Every bug needs a special approach but most of them can be eradicated quickly with Sterifab. We won't go into depth here about how to get rid of scabies or mites, but we'll offer a quick overview of getting rid of ticks, fleas and bed bugs. So grab a pen and paper and