Warm winter weather may mean more bugs

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Updated: 2/24/2012 11:08 am Published: 2/23/2012 10:20 pm

The warmer winter weather has many people thinking the insect population will be greater this spring; however, that’s not the case. 

The warmer winter does mean the bugs are not burrowing as deeply into the ground and they will be coming out earlier than usual.  That will look like there are more of them but that is a deception. 

“The termites, ants, fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and flies are the top ones,” said pest control expert Darren Gooch.  “I've already seen flies. That is very early.”

Cockroaches are also going to be a problem in early March if this weather continues without any deep freezes. 

Gooch warned people to be on the watch for the Oriental and American cockroaches.  He handed me one of his pet Madagascar Hissing cockroaches and said those are the ones Oklahomans do not have to worry about because they do not live here.  However, if they did they would be difficult to exterminate. 

“It's very likely that people will see the outdoor style cockroaches coming into their homes (in March),” said Gooch. 

According to Oklahoma State University Master Gardner Karen Watkins, the usual winter freezes don’t eliminate the number of bugs. 

“It has something to do with the fluid levels in their insect bodies that they can control the freezing temperatures,” said Watkins.  “They develop these proteins that are like an anti-freeze in their bodies, and they are made to overcome winter.”

Green Country will need to prepare their homes for an early bug season.  You can purchase pesticides at local hardware and gardening stores.  If you have pets, then you will also want to get them a flea and tick preventative product before winter ends. 

Keep in mind though winter isn’t officially over until March 20th.  There could still be a deep freeze or two before then, which will keep the bugs underneath the ground a little bit longer. 

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