Here Come the Bugs

 Here Come the Bugs

Thanks to a wet winter and spring, the Tristate could see more insects than usual this summerDavid Holthaus A wet winter and spring could mean we’ll see more bugs around the home this summer.

In late March, the National Pest Management Association released its bi-annual Bug Barometer, a seasonal forecast of pest activity expected in the regions of the country based on weather patterns and long-term predictions.

According to the group’s team of entomologists, residual winter moisture coupled with wet forecasts ahead will cause pest populations to spike early in much of the U.S.

“While regions across the country were either unseasonably cold or warm this past winter, there’s one factor that almost all of them had in common—excessive moisture,” says Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist for the NPMA.

In the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes, snowmelt due to warm spring conditions could cause flooding, leading to an increase in pest populations, says Michael Bentley, director of education and training for the National Pest Management Association.

Excess moisture buildup can lead to standing water, which creates ideal breeding sites for mosquitoes, Bentley says. Additionally, dry summer conditions expected in the Great Lakes region could force earwigs and springtails indoors in search of water.

He recommends reducing moisture to prevent pest infestations. He also recommends making sure basements and attics are well-ventilated, and repairing any leaking faucets, water pipes and air conditioning units. Also, diverting water away from the property with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks is important.

To keep the property tick-free, he suggests keeping grass cut low, eliminating overgrown vegetation or brush, especially along wooded property lines, and removing woodpiles and debris that can attract and shelter pests.

Additionally, homeowners should be sure to inspect the outside of the home for potential entry points, especially around areas where utility pipes enter the home. Use an appropriate sealant to address any cracks, crevices or gaps.