Local News


Las Vegas pest control companies receive an uptick in calls after earthquakes

Posted at 9:19 PM, Jul 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-11 15:21:09-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — While chandeliers were shaking and roofs were rattling, bugs were busy invading valley homes.

Las Vegas pest control companies are reporting a significant increase in insect activity over the past week following two significant earthquakes near Ridgecrest, California that could be felt in parts of the Las Vegas valley.

RELATED: Possible earthquake-related death in Nevada, police say

Ever since the earthquakes, Truly Nolen Pest Control technicians like Trent English say neighbors have been flooding his phone with pest control calls, mainly about grasshoppers and cockroaches.

"I was getting calls late at night, text messages. It got pretty busy, pretty quick, literally hundreds of grasshoppers all over the place," says English.

RELATED: Las Vegas Natural History Museum hunting for unknown fault lines in area

But, English doesn't believe the increase in calls is a coincidence. He believes it's because of the two earthquakes felt throughout the valley.

"Just the timeline of the invasion of all those insects, and not just the grasshoppers, we had ants coming up. It was just a peak in activity once that initial earthquake took place," he says.

7.10 bug.JPG
Las Vegas pest control companies are reporting a significant increase in insect activity over the past week following two earthquakes.

"With that seismic activity, I can just totally see insect populations, as the earth is shifting and moving, it’s flushing a lot of activity out into areas like Las Vegas. If you think about it, methodically, as you break up or disturb or vibrate where those harborage points are or nesting sites for insects, obviously instinctively they are going to flee or run or evade."

RELATED: Earthquake preparedness: How to prepare for a natural disaster

John Zuasola with Red Rock Pest Control is also experiencing a higher volume of calls, but he believes they're more seasonal than seismic.

"The transitioning from spring to summer is usually when we’re getting a lot of calls because that’s when people are seeing bugs," said Zuasola.

RELATED: Animal rescue among those trying to recover after 2 earthquakes in Ridgecrest

"The magnitude of the earthquake would have to be very high, where it moves the foundation of the home, where cracks and crevices form going up towards the house, where it builds a passageway or entryway for the bugs to come up."

Instead, Zuasola blames a colder, wetter spring for the increased insect activity to start the summer.

RELATED: California quakes shouldn't increase risk of major earthquake in Las Vegas

"During the transition of spring to summer in Las Vegas, we don’t usually have a cold spring. So, now we have an influx of bugs because they were able to congregate and mate a little bit longer than usual.

13 Action News reached out to the Nevada Department of Agriculture for answers.

The state entomologist tells us it is possible for an earthquake to stir up insect activity, but in this case, he believes the earthquakes were not nearly strong enough.