Experts: Wet winter could mean more cockroaches and crickets in Arizona

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- April showers may bring May flowers, but it can also bring summer bugs. With the warmer temperatures, more bugs are expected to pop up in Arizona than usual, mostly because of the wet weather the state has had so far in 2019.

Believe it or not, Some experts say the increase in bugs could actually be a good thing for the environment. Meanwhile, pest control specialists say they're gearing up for a busy summer.

According to the National Pest Management Association, which released its annual Bug Barometer, there is an expected rise in the insect population across the U.S., including the Southwest.

"That's what most people in the industry are saying," said Shane Hill, a technician with Green Home Pest Control. "Some of the research we've been looking at, mostly just like crickets and cockroaches, those kinds of bugs that like water."

Specifically, in Arizona, Hill says he expects more cockroaches and crickets, which could, in turn, lead to more dangerous critters like scorpions.

"Since we have the uptick in crickets and cockroaches, that's their food source," said Hill. "So, the main way to control scorpions is to get rid of all those other bugs that they might be eating."

Mike Livingston said his house had a bug problem when he moved in several years ago.

"I would see those stupid roaches that Arizona has," said Livingston.

So, Livingston now gets his house sprayed every other month.

"Since they started spraying, I don't have a lot of trouble," said Livingston. "Only thing I see are some cobwebs around outside, mostly."

While more bugs may not sound great, experts at the Phoenix Zoo say there is an upside.

"That gives reptiles a lot of stuff to eat, in turn, like mammals," said Damien Renner, bug enthusiast, and Senior Reptiles Keeper at the Phoenix Zoo. "If rodents eat locust or grasshoppers, rodent populations are up a little bit too, which people may not want to hear, but rattlesnake populations are also up, and rattlesnake populations are super important because they keep important diseases like Lyme Disease in check."

Officials say its not just the Southwest. The El Niño year has impacted other regions of the U.S. as well. The Northeast and South Central regions are expecting more ticks, and the Southeast is expecting more mosquitos.