In Brief
Many people may be pleased when they experience a warmer winter. However, it seems that there's a trade-off when spring and summer roll around. Warmer winter leads to great numbers of pests like biting insects.

Warmer Winters

Winter is the time of year when many people forget the previous summer’s gross weather and become eager for it to get warmer again. But then summer arrives, and those same people are often sweaty, hot, covered in biting insects, and waiting for the weather to finally cool off.

It’s the circle of life.

But the cycle isn’t exactly the same from one year to another. Some summers are warmer, others cooler. Ditto for winters — though they tend to skew warmer in our changed climate era.

The result? Early springs, which are dangerous for plants. Record-setting heat streaks. And, this spring and summer in the US, probably more pests than usual.

Bugs do well in warm winters. Frost doesn’t penetrate their winter holes as much, so many more survive until spring and summer.

Auto Draft
National Pest Management Association

Wild Pest Summer

That’s according to the National Pest Management Association, a nonprofit associated with the pest-control industry that puts out information on bugs and swarms across the US.

Its predictions are fairly rough, based on broad information about how insect populations tend to respond to different seasonal conditions. But they’re based on firm science. And they are broken down into five regions of the continental US.

In the West, which just had an unusually wet and cold winter after years of drought ― and which now expects a cool and wet spring ― mosquitoes are a threat, likely to appear early and in large numbers.

The Midwest, which experienced a wet winter as well without the usual deep freeze, can also expect early pest activity. Termites and ticks will be out in force, with significant mosquito populations present as well.

Further south, an area spanning New Mexico to Louisiana and including Texas had a warm wet winter, with a cooler, rainier spring following. That region can expect high ant, tick, and mosquito populations, with termite swarms showing up late.

The Southeast had a mild winter, setting the stage for more mosquitoes than usual.

In the Northeast, a warm winter and a warm spring set the stage for a wild pest summer: mosquitoes, ticks, ants, and even stink bugs will be out in force early.