Insect population not impacted by fluctuating temperatures

One bug that is causing concern across the country is the mosquito, which carries the Zika virus

OSU Extension Office

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – With the warm weather comes a few unwanted guests – bugs.

Ohio State University Extension educator Eric Barrett said that insects in general have built-in “antifreeze” so they can survive pretty low temperatures, and it doesn’t really matter if it’s the warm of summer of or cold of winter, but the jet stream plays a role.

“What might happen is those that might naturally die off that come in on storms and jet streams every year, a few of those might survive,” Barrett said.

One example of that is a flea beetle, which can cause trouble for sweet corn.

Another bug that is causing concern across the country is the mosquito, which carries the Zika virus. Preventing mosquito bites is the best defense.

Barrett said the real problem comes from standing water around your house. He said after it rains be sure to dump out any standing water near your home, which can be a breeding ground for the mosquitoes.

Larger bodies of water, such as ponds, should be treated with a larvaecide. That will stop the breeding cycle.

While some bugs may need be controlled or eliminated altogether in certain areas, Barrett warns that insects also play an important role for humans.

“Multi-colored Asian lady beetles and other lady bugs are really good. The actual larvae stage of that is a little insect that looks like an alligator. It’s black and orange and we call it an aphid alligator. It can eat 400 or 500 aphids a day, which are a big problem on your tomatoes and roses,” Barrett said.

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