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Monday, March 12, 2012 - 10:59am

Bugs Coming Early

The first day of spring is still more than a week away. But this week temperatures in many parts of the state could reach into the low 80’s. The warm weather is also pushing nature ahead of schedule.

The exceptionally warm winter and early spring are giving a head start to the bug season. Mosquito, flea, tick and chigger activity will escalate with the rising temperatures.

University of Georgia public health entomologist Elmer Gray says despite the early start, the overall season will depend more on water than temperature.

“By the time we get to June and July things will have moderated, and what becomes more important at that point is moisture, certainly as far as mosquitoes are concerned. The amount of rainfall and the amount of standing water is what’s going to guide how our mosquito populations develop through the rest of the year.”

Gray says it’s a myth that cold winters cut down on bugs. He says after millions of years they’ve adapted to changing temperatures.