Mild weather this winter could result in major bug infestations this spring. Since December, University of Kentucky Entomologist Lee Townsend says the central Kentucky area has only seen about 30 days with freezing temperatures. Normally, Townsend says, that figure can reach as high as 50 days. As a result, Townsend says more insects may survive the winter.
“We have several important insects that move up from the south every year including some aphids some moths that turn into fairly destructive caterpillars..they may arrive earlier in larger numbers and they may over winter closer to us," said Townsend.
The weather forecast calls for bitter cold this weekend. But, Townsend adds the current cold spell won’t make much of a difference...
“I don’t think a short cold snap will have much of an impact as far as overcoming what’s been a pretty mild winter this year…what could change that is if we had some freezing rains and temperature drop really quickly and stay low for several days..that’s the greatest chance of an impact,” added Townsend.
Townsend says the biggest factor for insect survivability is where they spend the winter months. He says bugs hanging out under leaves or thatch face the biggest threat when temperatures plunge.