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California Drought Has More Insects Swarming Toward Homes

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Pest control companies say California's drought has them swamped with more calls for insects in and around people's homes.

They say it's caused a 20 percent jump in calls for bug infestations over last year, and that it's kept them busy all year long.

Darren Van Steenwyk with Clark Pest Control says he's hired more employees to keep up with demand, even in his offseason.

"We stayed busy all throughout December and January and February, where normally that's a slow time for us," he said.

Jessica Silverbrand says her ant problems are even worse this year.

"There's ants everywhere," she said. "they are in your kitchen, and we came home from vacation one day and they were in our baking pantry and it was ridiculous."

The drought has diminished natural water sources for bugs including ants, spiders and cockroaches, which sends them looking for food and water in people's homes.

"The grass is very dry," she said. "We are only allowed to water twice a week and it's very obvious that they are probably being affected by the drought just as much as we are."

You can also blame a warmer winter.

"This mild winter has really prevented deep freezes, which kills a lot of insects," Darren said. "We are going to see some more insect activity and maybe in some places where we haven't seen, and maybe some insects we haven't seen as well."

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