Monsoon booms in, bugs buzz up
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The monsoon brings out more than the rain.
It brings out the bugs.
When the monsoons roll in, the eeek factor goes up because you'll start seeing more bugs. They're not really after you. They're just out because the wet weather makes them feel good.
When the rains arrive bugs do too. U of A entomologist (that's a bug specialist) Carl Olson says they're flying around after months of hiding from dryness.
"When we start getting higher humidity, then it makes their receivers work better and they communicate."
KGUN9 Reporter Craig Smith: "What's their goal when they're communicating?"
Olson: "Sex! Let's be honest about it right now you get a lot of activities because it's time to mate."
You may one particular bug that seems about the size of a pony. It's not a giant roach. It's a Palo Verde Beetle.
Olson says, "It's harmless. Although you look at it and say, wow, look at those jaws! If you pick it up wrong, or you stick your finger in it's mouth it'll bite but beyond that, it's just walking around doing nothing but people get all freaked out by it"
Real roaches do show up when rain drives them out of their cozy sewers. Carl Olson says it's a myth that they enter your house through the drain. They probably used cracks or loose weather stripping.
He says the water normally in the U-shaped pipe under your sink should keep roaches from coming through the drain. That's true unless you leave the sink unused long enough to let that water evaporate.
Craig Smith asked: "So why might you see them in the sinks?"
Olson said, "Because they go there for moisture. They can climb up and then they'll go down into the sink because it's got some high humidity and moisture but then they can't climb out because the porcelean doesn't allow them to grip with their little claws."
If you're planning a weekend bug control project, Carl Olson is not a fan of blasting your place with poison. He says you're better off closing up cracks and crevasses in your house and making sure weather stripping on doors and windows is nice and tight.