If you’re looking for a silver lining in the winter storm clouds, this may be it: Cold temps this winter might mean less bugs during the summer. As we all know, we’re a lot less likely to experience buggy weather when it’s cold outside, so fewer pesky critters floating around in the warmer months sounds like the best of both worlds to us.
Of course, the possibility of this glimmering hope of ours actually happening depends on several factors, such as the types of insects that reside in your area, how cold it gets where you live, and whether or not you get a lot of snow. For instance, some areas could see some suppression of ticks if they get cold temps with not much snow, according to Susan Paskewitz, the chair of the Department of Entomology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Though it might seem odd that less snow might contribute to less ticks, it’s worthwhile to remember that snow can act as an extra insulation for the pesky little guys as they burrow into the ground during the colder months. So less snow might mean a more likely chance of them getting exposed to the frigid air.
“I’m going to be hopeful that because we’re getting really cold temperatures and not much insulation in southern Wisconsin that we may see some impacts on the tick survival next year. Up north where we have a lot more snow, I don’t think so,” Paskewitz said.
Along with ticks, there’s also a chance that more mosquitoes can be killed off in the bitter cold. Though some mosquitoes in colder locations like Alaska have adapted to the frigid temps, not all of them in warmer locations have the same adaptations. Thus, mosquitoes from warmer places that have found themselves in colder regions this time around might be killed off by a deep freeze.
Experts can’t say for sure how many bugs will truly be out and about next summer. It’s also worth keeping in mind that several bugs have lived through cold weather in years past. But the hope of getting even a small break from the pests might just be enough of a bright spot to help us make it through winter!
h/t Popular Science
In the meantime, learn how to warm up a cold house quickly: