Insect Update: The Latest On Bed Bugs

Air Date:
Heard On The Larry Meiller Show

Larry Meiller finds out whether this severe winter will give us any relief with ticks this summer. Plus, an update on the status of bed bugs in Wisconsin and nationwide.

Featured in this Show

  • It’s Cold, But Not Cold Enough To Kill Insects

    Many people are trying to find a silver lining in the extreme and unrelenting cold that Wisconsin has dealt with this winter. One hope is that some of the undesirable insects will be wiped out and the difference will be obvious this summer.

    One insect that no one would miss is the tick. But will this cold impact that population? According to entomologist Phil Pellitteri, the answer is no.

    Pellitteri, who heads the University of Wisconsin-Madison Insect Diagnostic Lab, said the doesn’t affect many species.

    “I have been asked that quite a bit, and I can only think of three or four animals out of the 25,000 species that may be impacted and ticks definitely aren’t one of them,” he said.

    “Most of insects are insulated well-enough between the snow and being down in the soil,” he said. And unfortunately for humans and other mammals, that’s the case with ticks.

    As Pellitteri previously explained, there was also hope that the low temperatures might put a dent in Wisconsin’s emerald ash borer population. But for those pests, “the real magic temperature with that is minus 30 (degrees). For most of us, it’s been very cold, but not that cold.”

    In fact, there is a concern that beneficial insects might be harmed by the conditions this winter. In the case of the emerald ash borer, Pellitteri said that there is real concern about the parasitic insects introduced in Wisconsin in the hope of controlling the ash borer spread. He said that those insects may not survive the winter.

    “It has been an old-fashioned winter,” Pellitteri said, “but as far as seeing a whole lot of impact (on insects), I don’t expect it.”

Episode Credits

  • Larry Meiller Host
  • Judith Siers-Poisson Producer
  • Phil Pellitteri Guest

Related Stories