Warm Winter Increases Insects - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Warm Winter Increases Insects

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by Tim Wetzel

NASHVILLE, Tenn -- The early onset of warm weather means people will not only be sweating more, but they'll be swatting more bugs. Experts say the mild winter and unseasonably warm March is making insects active even earlier.

"Insects don't look at a calendar and say on this date it's time to emerge, " said entomologist David Cook of the UT Extension office. "They are already emerging."

Cook says he has tracked an unusual number of carpenter bees, paper wasps, ants, fire ants and spiders for this time of year. And this could mean even more of the bugs when the real summer comes.

"If it starts a month early, it gives insects ample time to add an additional generation," said Cook. More generations mean more bugs.

Insects normally start coming out of the ground when the soil temperature reaches about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. In many parts of the area, the temperature is already at 70 degrees which means the bugs are already very active. Cook says that does not normally happen until sometime in April.

"This is not typical Tennessee winter weather, this is summer weather."

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