There has been one bright note in this year’s cold, snowy winter. The extreme polar cold is taking a toll on some of New York and New Jersey’s most problematic insect pests. Scientists say prolonged exposure to sub-zero temperatures appears to be taking a bite out of emerald ash borer, southern pine beetle and stink bug populations.
Populations of these tree and crop-killing pests exploded last summer as a result of the previous mild winter. Stink bugs, which suck nutrients from plants, did billions of dollars of damage to New Jersey crops last year. They’ve remained a problem this winter, making unwelcome appearances inside homes as they flee their overwintering hiding places inside soffits and wall voids for indoor warmth. This winter’s freeze appears to be killing stink bugs that cannot escape the cold.
The severe cold appears to be taking a similar toll on the southern pine beetles that have decimated more than 30,000 acres of the Pine Barrens. Emerald ash borers, responsible for the felling of thousands of infected trees are also succumbing to the cold.
Unfortunately, the cold won’t provide any relief from bed bugs. It takes temperatures well below the ones we’ve suffered this winter to kill bed bugs. Stern’s Cryonite system uses CO2 snow frozen to minus 110 degrees F. to kill bed bugs, which is well below anything the Polar Vortex has sent our way!
Don’t count on the cold to solve your bed bug problems; call the bed bug extermination experts at Stern.