I only ask the above question, because whatever the answer is, that is me! Unlike an extremophile, the term used to refer to creatures, which are able to survive in the most inhospitable conditions on earth, I am not good at surviving in harsh environments. I use the term “harsh” quite loosely as I am simply thinking of the very cold office space I am currently sat in – I think a lot of office workers will empathise here.
Unlike some remarkable pests, the red flat bark beetle (Cucujus clavipes) to name but one, I do not thrive very well in cold climates and it doesn’t even have to be freezing cold for my toes to start going numb and for me to yearn for the comfort of my pink fluffy hot water bottle (other colours are available!). So, hats off to this amazing beetle which uses its own biological version of antifreeze (stuff you use in your car), to prevent formation of ice crystals in its internal fluids helping it to thrive in the harsh north Alaskan climate. Say what you will about pests (and I often do), they can be absolutely fascinating. I know if I had to move to north Alaska, chances are I would be staying in…a lot!
On the other hand, there are pests which prefer much, much hotter climates, like the Sahara desert ant (Cataglyphis bicolor) – now I can relate to this pest far more easily. In fact, I would not put up any resistance if I had to move to the Bahamas tomorrow – chance would be a fine thing!
I suppose all this freezing cold weather is keeping some pests away and delaying the onset of some pest problems. For example, its keeping ants away from my garden – a problem we had a few years ago. I wonder though if this delay due to the severe cold weather, simply means we are going to experience a larger pest problem in one big hit? For the time being it looks like mice, rats and rodents continue to be a big pest problem due to our unseasonable weather.
So, my advice to you now is to keep warm and be vigilant for any signs of pest problems – remember, the average non-extremophile pest still wants to get inside your home to get warm.
Am off now to use the warm hand dryers in the office loos – bring on summer!