NEW YORK (CBS Local) — As many states are still digging out from the frigid “bomb cyclone,” which delivered snow from Maine to Florida, some are looking for the possible bright side of a brutal winter: less bugs in the summer.
While scientists say a long winter filled with freezing temperatures may kill off plenty of blood-sucking pests, others say there could be a drop in some insect populations, but it might not be very substantial.
“They’re going to get through this. They are going to make it because they have experienced these kinds of conditions before, and they don’t get wiped out,” the University of Wisconsin Madison’s Susan Paskewitz told Popular Science.
The school’s head of the Department of Entomology adds that there could be a dip in the number of disease-carrying insects like ticks and mosquitoes this coming summer, but the bugs have also developed several ways of beating the cold. Paskewitz explains that mosquitoes can even survive in states like Alaska and some have a form of biological antifreeze in their systems to make it through the winter.
Will there be any relief from summer pests this year?
The entomologist says that certain types of dangerous insects, who have moved into new regions because of global warming, will definitely feel the chill in their new environment.
“They will not have those physiological mechanisms to get through these kinds of temperatures,” Paskewitz said.
Zika-carrying asian tiger mosquitoes and lone star ticks – who can give you a disease making you allergic to meat – have reportedly been spreading into new territory because of rising temperatures around the world. Paskewitz claims those less prepared breeds of blood-sucking creatures will likely not make it to the spring in certain areas.