Winter is the time of year you spend forgetting last summer’s gross weather, and waiting for it to get warmer out. Summer is the time you spend sweaty, hot, covered in biting insects, and waiting for the weather to finally cool off.
It’s the circle of life.
But the cycle isn’t exactly the same from one year to another. Some summers are warmer, others cooler. Ditto for winters — though they tend to skew warmer in our changed climate era.
Bugs do well in warm winters. Frost doesn’t penetrate their winter holes as much, so many more survive until spring and summer.
That’s according to the National Pest Management Association, a nonprofit associated with the pest control industry that puts out information on bugs and swarms across the country.
Their predictions are fairly rough, based on broad information about how insect populations tend to respond to different seasonal conditions. But they’re based in firm science. And they’re broken down into five regions of the continental United States.
In the West, which just had an unusually wet and cold winter after years of drought― and which now expects a cool and wet spring ―mosquitoes are a threat, likely to appear early and in large numbers.
The Midwest, which experienced a wet winter as well without the usual deep freeze, can also expect early pest activity. Termites and ticks will be out in force, with significant mosquito populations present as well.
Further south, an area spanning New Mexico to Louisiana and including Texas had a warm wet winter, with a cooler, rainier spring following. That region can expect high ant, tick, and mosquito populations, with termite swarms showing up late.
The Southeast had a mild winter, setting the stage for more mosquitoes than usual.
In the Northeast, a warm winter and warm spring set the stage for a wild pest summer: mosquitoes, ticks, ants, and even stink bugs will be out in force early.