There are more bugs flying, crawling, and biting this summer than at any time in recent memory, including mosquitoes, ticks, ants, grasshoppers, crickets and locusts.
Why? Chalk it up to our milder-than-usual winter – which killed fewer bugs than normal, and meant there were more bug “parents” around when breeding season started. And because the hot weather started earlier, the breeding season started early, too, creating the perfect storm for a super-buggy summer.
Already, ants are invading homes looking for water, and twice as many honeybee swarms have invaded homes. Unfortunately, it also means cases of bug-borne diseases are skyrocketing, including Lyme disease, which is spread by ticks, and West Nile Virus and heartworms in dogs and cats – which are transmitted by mosquito.
And farmers are worried. If the weather stays hot and dry through the harvest season, there’ll be a huge increase in the number of grasshoppers and locusts feeding on crops. Because the bacteria and fungus that usually kill grasshoppers and locusts - and keep their numbers down - don’t grow as quickly in hot, dry conditions.