Autumn’s warm, wet weather ideal for bugs – for now

By Megan Frank
November 2, 2021

Bug spray season is lasting a little longer this year thanks to a warm, wet autumn that has enabled insects and pests to thrive. (Photo | Pa. Department of Agriculture)

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – October wasn’t exactly “sweater weather” in the Lehigh Valley. 

The first two weeks of the month featured summer-like days with warmer than average temperatures of highs in the 70s and 80s. 

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Marten Edwards is a professor of biology at Muhlenberg College. He says some insects are still around because the weather has been both warm and wet.

“It’s been a good year for the bugs in the fall,” said Edwards. “They have a longer period of time to do what they’re hoping to do, which is reproduce and make it to the next year.” 

Edwards says that means insects like mosquitoes and ticks are still biting, as they seek out blood meals. 

“If there’s a lot of water, there’s going to be a lot of mosquitoes. The larva stage of the mosquito depends on the water,” said Edwards. “It’s probably not increasing the number of stink bugs — that cycle is already set. But sooner than later, they’ll be coming into the house to try to find a cozy spot to spend the winter.” 

According to the National Weather Service, above-normal temperatures are likely to stick around through December. 

As for those pesky bugs, Edwards says their life cycles typically end during the first frost. The National Weather Service says the Valley could actually hit below-freezing temperatures Wednesday morning. 

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