DICKINSON -- The National Pest Management Association released its bi-annual forecast report of pest pressure and activity North Dakotans can expect moving into the fall and winter seasons.

The report is based on weather patterns, long-term predictions and pest biological behaviors.

According to the NPMA entomologists, erratic weather patterns and record-breaking rainfall are expected to cause an increase in pest pressure across the continental U.S. this fall and winter.

This summer brought a whole host of extreme weather conditions that can affect pest pressure, including record rainfall in some parts of the country, and drought in others," said Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist for the NPMA. "With most of the country still damp from summer and fall, and winter forecasts predicting even more precipitation, expect an increase in activity from moisture-loving pests such as mosquitoes, termites, cockroaches, stink bugs and rodents."

The National Pest Management Association's report forecasts a significant spike in major pest populations across the U.S. this winter. In North Dakota, flooding over the summer in the northern part of the state coupled with expectations for a wet winter are expected to push rodents indoors, and may also increase cockroach and ant pressure as these insects search for higher ground.

"Rodent populations will become public enemy number one as they seek shelter indoors and are in search of steady sources of food and water," added Fredericks.

John Mack is the owner of JAM Pest Control Inc. in Dickinson. He cautions that now is the time to prepare for the upcoming cold weather by preparing the home for pest.

"You want to make sure your house is sealed, and that all seals under doors are closed off as much as possible, because what tends to happen is when a mouse senses heat they are going to try and get into the house," said Mack. "They only need the size of a pencil eraser to get into a house, so the idea is to make sure everything is sealed really well. I'd recommend doing bait stations around the house, or hire someone to come in and do bait stations to keep them at bay. Once they get in the house they can cause problems.

"It was a wet spring so you're going to have larger than usual populations of ants. To get rid of them you can do baits or spraying, but when you have temperatures like this, you're going to have ants," Mack said. "As far as roaches, we've had a few infestation cases over the years but it's not an epidemic by any means. I don't think this year will be any different."