Less buzzing in the air? How is weather impacting bug population - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Less buzzing in the air? How is weather impacting insect population?

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A warm winter, an early spring, and now a drought. The wacky weather has had so many ups and downs this year, it's leaving Mother Nature in a tailspin.

Luckily that also means less of some certain types of pesky bugs.

Extension Horticulture Educator, Larry Caplan, is talking about this year's scale infestation, which he says has been abnormally high this year.

Scales are insects that bury themselves into the twigs of certain trees, sucking out the sap, and producing a thick liquid called "honeydew" that runs down a tree and coats everything in it.

"A heavy population can stress the tree and cause a weakening of the tree. Now you add a drought to that and we are now looking at doubling the stress," says Caplan.

He says the early spring this year is responsible for a decrease in butterflies, and an increase in ticks.

"This spring was probably one of the most horrendous tick years I think I've ever had. I was pulling ticks off myself in February. You never have tick problems in Southern Indiana in February."

Luckily, the early spike in ticks has been evened out by a drop in another blood-sucker.

"If we'd had sufficient rain this year, the early warm up would have given us a longer more devastating mosquito population."

Another silver lining?

"It should cause a decrease in the grubs in our lawn," says Caplan.

Of course, that's assuming you have a lawn to work with.

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