Buggier spring and summer expected
Many have been enjoying the warm weather, but be prepared for some negative consequences associated with it including a buggier spring and summer. Pest control companies across the county say they've seen a double digit jump in the number of calls they've received for insect infestations. As our Katie Gibas reports, besides an annoyance, these pests could have some health problems as well.
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ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- With just over 50 inches of snow in Central New York and Syracuse on track for the record least amount of snow, there's just one word to describe this winter.
"This has been a very weird winter," said Larry Abrahamson, a SUNY ESF Entomologist.
If you enjoyed the strange winter, cherish it because you probably won't enjoy some of the consequences including a buggier spring and summer. Entomologists say without prolonged cold snaps, more insects survived the winter.
"When we get below zero, around 15-20 below, you get three or four days of that it knocks out a lot of over-wintering insects, but I think we had maybe once or twice it got below zero. We did not have a long enough cold spell to do anything," said Abrahamson.
Many people are already noticing how active the bugs are, and it's not just because of our warm weather.
"We get a lot of insects that blow in from the South that come up that don't over-winter here, but they blow in. And if it's been warm in the Southern U.S., which I think it has been and we get some warm spells with storms, it will blow those in sooner too," said Abrahamson.
Besides just being an annoyance, the increased bug and insect population can also have some health concerns. Obviously, the more insects you have, the more likelihood there is for disease in both humans and animals. We've already seen a number of ticks out an affecting animals so far this year.
"They're active. In this kind of warm weather they would be, but I was surprised to see them as early as they are," said Abrahamson.
You may also notice mosquitoes out already. Since the mosquito season is starting earlier, there's a larger chance for diseases like West Nile and EEE.
Experts warn to protect yourselves and your pets from harmful insects. Make sure to avoid swampy areas and use insect repellant to keep away any potentially disease-carrying bugs. Both indoor and outdoor animals should have a spot-on flea and tick treatment because the insects can come in on your person or through open windows.