Bugs Arrive Early - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Bugs Arrive Early

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This week's record warmth has its good and bad effects.  You may be enjoying the outdoors earlier than usual, but you may have noticed that pests like mosquitoes and ticks are, too. Insect experts say we're going to have to break out the bug spray early this year. While flowers like daffodils are already blooming, the extremely warm weather has bugs hatching earlier than normal.  Plus, mild temperatures this winter didn't kill off all of last year's bugs either.

Biologist Lee Mitchell with the Toledo Area Sanitary District says, "This year obviously it's been a lot warmer and we started finding them in the middle of March, especially in the past two weeks. They're just about everywhere now."  Mitchell showed us a jar of fresh mosquito larvae.  He says, "Since it's only March, we're way ahead.  We're seeing adult mosquitoes. People are calling and asking us, ‘When are you gonna start spraying?'" TASD normally starts spraying for adult mosquitoes around Memorial Day.  They are trying to control larvae in standing water already to ward off the next wave of hatchlings.  But our other favorite creepy crawly critter may visit us earlier this year as well.  Mayflies may actually arrive in May. University of Toledo ecology graduate student Rachel Kuhaneck of the Lake Erie Center says, "In order for them to hatch, it has to be 20 degrees Celsius at the bottom.  So that's around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  Usually, we reach that temperature around June.  But this year, we may reach that earlier in May."  Mayflies normally don't arrive until June-- but with air and lake water temperatures rising, they may live up to their names this year.

As for your plants, everyone is wondering what happens if we get another frost or freeze?  Our average last frost date is around Mother's Day in early to mid May. Horticulturists say bulbs like tulips or daffodils wouldn't be harmed and most trees and shrubs would be okay, too. You might want to cover tender plants like hydrangea if another frost threatens and flowering fruit trees might definitely would not like another frost.

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