Warmer temperatures have been in our forecast earlier than usual and it could mean more unwanted guests will be too.
Mild temperatures and a low frost-line could mean more blood-sucking bugs such as mosquitoes and ticks
"A milder winter, those pests become a little more active. We were actually speaking to a gentleman earlier today and his neighbors already saw a mosquito this year," said Keith Lacross with Braman Termite and Pest Elimination.
After 19 years in the business, Lacross said it's surprising to hear "in February? Absolutely."
Looking ahead, Lacross said that it's hard to predict if there will be a rise in mosquitoes, but all the signs are pointing towards a busy season ahead.
"Moisture in particular for mosquitoes is what you're basing your forecast off of. The weather season you get in February, March, and April, the more mosquitoes you're going to get. You have to have that standing water. Those breeding sites for mosquitoes," Lacross noted.
Ticks, on the other hand, "They don't like the cold, so if they get frost or frozen, it will slow them down quite a bit. A milder winter means they'll come out a little stronger."
Lacross said that it's a combination of temperatures, frost, and moisture that will determine bug outbreaks. However, the main health concern with these little buggers is the disease they may carry.
"Of course, everyone's familiar with Lyme disease, something you're familiar with in New England. Mosquitoes transmit disease, everyone's heard of Zika. It's not really an issue up here at this point. West Nile Virus, those are the more common ones," Lacross added.
Typical tick and mosquito season starts in May or June and the easiest prevention method is insect repellents.
See the original article on Western Mass News' website here.