Cold Winter Wears on Area Insects

The winter we've had has numbed us to the bone so far here in Central Wisconsin.

The coldness may be a good thing in the long run for us, however not so much for the bugs.

A University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point Associate Biology Professor Jamee Hubbard said even though the cold will slightly cut down the number of mosquitoes we should expect this summer, the weather is the hardest on emerald ash borer insects.

Hubbard said the mosquitoes try to survive a few ways including hiding in homes or a basement where it's warm or by "supercooling."

"It's when their blood and other fluids go down below zero or negative 32 degrees Fahrenheit in order to basically survive without freezing," Hubbard said.

She said Wisconsin mosquitoes are prepared to survive the winter, and so are bees, as long as they're in a large hive with a healthy queen.

As for the emerald ash borer insects, life looks pretty grim if the temperatures stay freezing for a long period of time.

"They are just right under the bark so they're not very well insulated," Hubbard said. "They're not insulated well and they don't 'supercool' to an extreme temperature."

Hubbard said emerald ash borer insects can tolerate down to negative 26 degrees Fahrenheit, but after that they start to die off.

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