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Why you’re being “bugged” by insects more than usual this time of year

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 6:58 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Bugs are sticking around later than usual this year because of mild fall temperatures.

UW-Extension Entomologist PJ Liesh said it’s not that we are seeing more mosquitoes this year, it’s that we are seeing them later than usual. That’s because of the fairly dry early summer and lots of rain in September and August, coupled with the fact that it’s warmer than it usually is in October.

Another insect that stuck around longer than usual is bees.

“So if the bees are still finding these sources of pollen and nectar, that’s going to keep them active later into the year,” said PJ Liesh, Extension Entomologist.

Some plants were also in bloom longer because of the late warm temperatures, which is also good for insects.

“Insects being essentially cold-blooded creatures, the warmer it is, the more active they can be and the more quickly they can develop,” said Liesh.

Luckily, they’ll likely be gone soon. Once it frosts a few times, that will help cut down on mosquito activity for the year.

On the downside, frost will bring the fall invaders. Some fall invaders are box elder bugs, asian lady beetles and stink bugs. Usually, they aren’t super noticeable, but in the fall they try to creep inside and take shelter in warm places like homes.

Liesh recommended that people consider sealing any cracks in their homes before it gets cold and the bugs try to invade.

Another way to keep them out is by leaving spiders alone. They will help by eating the invaders.

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