Cold weather not enough to kill off all bugs

FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – From his warm office at Wright State University, Associate Professor of Biology John Stireman looks through files of flies.

An expert with bugs and insects, he is the right person to ask if the extreme cold we’ve felt will kill off those pesky pests.  The answer isn’t easy.

“That’s a complicated issue there’s certainly some insects where we are at the northern range so they can get knocked back a bit,” says Stireman.

Wiping out the population is not likely.  Insects and bugs spend much of the winter in either the pupal stage or as eggs.  These are highly resistant to freezing.  There are some bugs seeking shelter and warmth by heading inside like stink bugs, but Stireman says this is normal.

“Every winter you should expect stink bugs, spiders and things.  They will try and get in homes because they are warm,” Stireman explains.

While the Miami Valley has been cold and snowy this winter, there are other areas even colder than us.

Stireman says, “Think about this if you go to northern Minnesota where it’s always cold, come spring time there’s tons of bugs there.  Think about Alaska.  Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean there’s not going to be mosquitoes.”

The heavy snow we’ve seen this season may actually help with insects creating a natural isolation, but it’s not enough to kill them off.

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