Mild winter weather could mean more bugs this springFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Most of us have enjoyed our unusually warm weather this winter. Well so do some pests. Normally bugs and their larva die off in the subzero temperatures, but with the not so winter like winter they've been able to survive, and we'll most likely see more bugs…and sooner.
By: Danielle Miller, WDAY
Most of us have enjoyed our unusually warm weather this winter. Well so do some pests. Normally bugs and their larva die off in the subzero temperatures, but with the not so winter like winter they've been able to survive, and we'll most likely see more bugs…and sooner.
Lower heating bills, fewer car accidents - both positive things when talking about the winter we have had. One major downfall - the increase of bugs we may see. While this is bad news when talking about most bugs, one insect may have a lower population thanks to the lack of snowfall.
Janet Knodel - Entomologist: “Warmer temperatures, the over wintering success is probably higher, so we will have probably more insects that made it through the winter.”
NDSU Extension Service Entomologist Janet Knodel says the warm weather isn't the only thing helping these creepy crawlers survive. Animals and rodents are also thriving in this warm weather which gives the insects a host to live off of.
Jan Knodel: “Typically we see them in April, but if it continues to be this warm, and it starts to warm up even more in March we could see the activity earlier.”
While some may be squirming just thinking about more bugs, there is good news about the mosquito population. Cass County Vector Control Director Ben Prather says little to no snow fall is working to our advantage.
Ben Prather – Cass County Vector Control: “The drying, you know less snow fall means we are going to have drier soils immediately, and in that May and June period is our really strong start of our mosquito season.”
Starting this spring off with drier soil could be just what it takes to make all the difference.
Ben Prather: “Compared to where we have been the last maybe two or three years we are looking pretty good, the flood threat is minimal this year, we are going to have drier soils, it will be able to absorb more snow melt and rain fall and that should give us a little bit of a leg up.”
While we may be able to look somewhat into the future of the bug population, both Knodel and Prather say we will have to wait for spring to get the final counts.
To keep bugs away, you can spray a couple of weeks early, keep your doors and windows shut, or just wish for below freezing temperatures.