A mild winter and early spring doesn't necessarily mean more bugs this summer. Local experts say that for insects like mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks, other factors like rainfall and host availability are more important than temperature. When it comes to agricultural pests, University of Illinois entomologist Joseph Spencer says in some cases, more may have survived over the winter. He says some pest insects are out early, but beneficial insects are too:
"Many of these pest insects have predators and parasites that are adapted to the lifecycle of their hosts, and so even with a pest insect, if it's coming out early, it's also going to have predators and parasites that are tracking the same weather, so they're going to be active as well."
Spencer says it's too soon to say how the warm weather will affect the pest burden on this year's corn and soybean crops.
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