Bugs Likely to Arrive Early Due to Warmer Weather

It is no secret that this winter has been an unusual one for those of us in the United States. Some cities are claiming that they have no reported snow fall for the entire season. With this increase of warm temperatures many experts are expecting spring and summer to arrive earlier than ever. Will this unseasonable change of weather bring out insects and other creepy crawlies that pester us during warmer months?

Traditionally the earth has its own timing for each season, and nature takes its lead from this timing. Flowers begin blooming and birds take their annual migrations when the earth gives off the appropriate seasonal signals. However, what if those signals arrive too early?

Increasing temperatures and the relationship between the seasons are seemingly falling out of sync this year. The early arrival of warmer temperatures is altering important cues for both animals and nature. According to weather experts’ data, spring has begun arriving 2.5 days earlier each decade. This means that bugs and other insects have the advantage. Bugs typically thrive in warmer climates, including seasonal bugs like ticks. As winter shortens they are showing up earlier each year and leaving later. Bugs can adjust to the strange temperature changes and, with the seasonal cues out of sync, they can last longer and have higher reproductive rates.

Typically, bugs are known to carry certain types of diseases that may or may not affect humans. As warm temperatures have spread across many regions, there becomes a greater risk of infection if the proper precautions are not taken. This is why last summer we saw especially high cases of the well-known West Nile virus and Zika virus transmitted through mosquitoes.

These diseases tend to spread due to poor health care and the fact that there is simply not enough cold weather to kill off the carriers. Some insects might also be tempted to take alternate migration paths with the introduction of warmer weather.

With the arrival of spring-like temperatures, remember about outdoor safety and how to protect yourself and your family from insects. Take extra precautions when heading overseas. While the insects may be something that we have to deal with, the trade-off is more time outside in the sun enjoying our beautiful East Tennessee home.

Source: Elizabeth Lane, Jefferson County Post Sports

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