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Winter Freeze Could Help Make This A Buggy Summer

DETROIT (WWJ) - A Michigan State University entomologist is suggesting you stock up on bug spray this summer.

The heavy winter snow provided insulation for ticks and other bugs, noted MSU's Howard Russell, and once it melted, offered a nice breeding ground for mosquitos.

Russell said the water from melting snow also provided an ideal environment to breed mosquitoes.

But entomologists note that the harsh winter has had little effect on many other types of insects as many can withstand sub-zero temps.

According to, insects are equipped to avoid the bitter cold by migrating, entering houses and other structures, and burrowing below the freezing depth.

Or, they can tolerate freezing temperatures by producing a substance similar to antifreeze, entering "diapause" (an overwintering like state) or by burrowing into leaf litter and soil.

Their innate coping and adaptation skills are truly admirable and amazing, blogs Missy Henriksen in PestWorld.

Invasive insects, however, may be more susceptible to death due to freezing depending on where they originated; emerald ash borer populations, for example, are believed to be greatly affected by Minnesota weather.

Not that many us of realize it, but there are 20 different species of skeeters in Michigan, and tend to be the thickest in grassy shorelines, wooded areas and fields near woods.

While residents around Lake Erie point out that the annual march of mayflies is taking longer than normal to materialize.

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