Weather

Cold winter didn't eliminate insects

Posted May 11, 2010 3:52 p.m. EDT
Updated May 11, 2010 7:00 p.m. EDT

— Mosquitoes, fleas and ticks – all signs that it is getting warmer in North Carolina.

Record cold temperatures this past winter – the coldest in 30 years – left some people thinking some of these pests might have been killed off.

But Jack Bacheler, a professor of entomology at North Carolina State University, says bugs are well adapted to North Carolina winters, where it doesn't get that cold.

"Unfortunately, we don't get much of a break from things we'd like to see less of," Bacheler said.

In fact, Bacheler says, pests like mosquitoes, fire ants, millipedes, fleas and ticks actually thrive in conditions like those of late – warmer weather mixed with rain.

"Anything, even the base of a flower pot, can serve as a reservoir for insects like Asian tiger mosquitoes that are so obnoxious," he said.

Local exterminator David Wyatt, of Clegg's Pest Control, says there are ways to reduce the numbers, such as getting rid of any standing water outside.

"The one thing you'll never see is a complete eradication," he said. "That just doesn't ever happen."