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How the warm weather is affecting bugs and plants

Our warmer than average temperatures have been noticed by all of us, but what about the bug population?

Posted: Jan. 8, 2019 6:44 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - It may not be what you expected, but this season hasn't been very winter-like so far.

You and I aren't the only ones feeling the difference.

"We're still pretty much at the early stages of winter. So right now, most of the organisms affected by winter are going to be plants, and also insects that are gonna wait it out until spring."

Peter Coppinger lives in Terre Haute, and he's a Biologist at Rose Hulman Institute of Technology.

Coppinger says he often gets asked if our warmer weather will have an effect on the bug population come spring.

"The short answer is, probably not, at least not noticeable. But the longer answer is that it depends. Which insect are you asking about?"

Peter says each kind of insect adapts to weather differently.

While some aren't doing so well, others could be thriving.

"Some insects actually like the cold, and they can tolerate very cold temperatures, and even benefit from those cold temperatures. There are also some insects that benefit from warm temperatures as well."

So what does this mean for the upcoming spring season?

Peter says there's no definite answer, simply because we still have so much winter season left.

"We have a long way to go in the winter, so we might be warm right now and get really freezing cold. So it's very hard to predict how buggy the next season is going to be."

But like he always does, Coppinger will keep a close eye on any bug activity that looks a little bit unusual.

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