Orono- If you think the bugs didn’t survive the long, cold winter, think again. In fact, the bugs give the term “blanket of snow” a literal meaning.
“Normally what you want if you want to try and impact the insects the most, you want an open, cold winter. Now we had a cold winter, but unfortunately we had lots of snow. So if you want to think about it, if you’re an insect and you’re down in the leaves and stuff and all of a sudden you’ve got three feet of snow on you, down there in the leaf litter where you are it’s probably 25-28 degrees, something like that, even though the air temperature might be minus twenty or something,” said Jim Dill, a Pest Management Specialist at Umaine Cooperative Extension.
Dill predicts that the winter actually increased the survival of ticks and maintained the survival of black flies. The only insects we might see less of for a period of time are mosquitoes.
“So kind of as a prediction it’s kind of hard to predict, but early season mosquitoes at the moment right at the moment doesn’t look like it’s going to be as bad as they normally are. But then the rest of the season it’s hard to say. It depends on what our weather will be, at least for mosquitoes,” Dill said.
But the insects we need to be most aware of are ticks, and with an increase expected this season, dill reminds people to wear repellant and check for ticks after spending time outside. And even though these pests survived the winter, their presence reminds us of one positive thing.
“I think probably if there is a positive thing about all this, it’s like ‘Yes! The warm weather is finally here! And now I have to cover up because I’m probably going to get eaten alive by black flies, mosquitoes, ticks, and all those good things,” Dill said.