Warm, wet weather to thank for large number of insects

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - It has been the perfect climate for creepy crawlies to explode in population and UNL extension educators say it's all thanks to our warm and wet summer.

Image Source: CDC / Erturac / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 / MGN

There has been an on-going issue with mosquitoes and the diseases they carry. They even found a rare type of mosquito in York County that could care the Zika virus. It also has lead to larger populations of bugs that could wreak havoc on crops and gardens.

“We've had Japanese beetle that is starting to invade in our area,” Adams County Extension Educator Ron Seymour said. “It's an introduced pest that's just been slowly moving across the country and it's been a growing threat here in Nebraska. So we saw a lot more of those this year.”

There will be a break from the insects once we start dropping below 50 degrees.

“So that slows them down a lot. It does drive them into these hiding places,” Seymour said. “Once they're exposed to 32 degrees, 31 degrees, that usually takes care of them. It's going to take a 27 degrees freeze to really kill the ones that are in those little hiding places that provide them that little extra protection.”

There are some things you can do to your yard to help get rid of the bad insects and keep the good.

“At the end of the season as we get freezes and plants start to drop their leaves and so on, it's very important to do some sanitation,” Platte County Extension Educator Kelly Feehan said. “Cleaning things up will help to reduce the overwintering of harmful insects but if you want to help some of those pollinators and beneficial insects we say to do the opposite.”

For those insects like bagworms that are causing issues to trees it is too late to spray for them.

“The majority of insects out there are either beneficial or they're completely harmless. they're just there. I have to go back to always positively identify anything before you attempt control,” Feehan said.