Insects may show up earlier than usual due to warm weather, local bug expert says

The warmer than usual winter that the D.C. area has been experiencing could cause insects to show up earlier this year, one local expert said.

“What we’re seeing right now is with this abnormal, very, very warm weather that insects are becoming active,” said Professor Emeritus of Entomology at the University of Maryland, Mike Raupp, also known as The Bug Guy.

Raupp told WTOP that some insects like ladybugs and stink bugs that have been wintering in homes are already starting to try to move outside, and expects to see them once temperatures reach the 60s or 70s. That’s because insect development is temperature dependent, Raupp said.

“The warmer it is, the quicker they develop, the more active they become,” he said.

Raupp added that some home invader insects could show up in some homes soon. He also said that ticks are active and mason bees could begin showing up within the next week or two.

Raupp said that the earlier than normal arrival of insects does not necessarily mean that they will be any harder on your plants than in previous years, and actually, it may extend the growing season.

“It simply means in a warming world that we’re in right now, that pests are going to start earlier. But you could also be able, we hope, to plant earlier,” he said.

Stetson Miller

Stetson Miller is an anchor and reporter for WTOP. He has worked in TV newsrooms for the last several years in New York, Baltimore, Washington and Charleston, SC.

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