Tags: polar vortex | cold | insects | subzero | bugs | midwest | east coast

Deadly Polar Vortex Killed Off Some Insect Species

the polar vortex likely killed as much as 95 percent of stink bugs.
A stink bug (Dave Kettering/AP)

By | Monday, 18 February 2019 03:35 PM

The polar vortex that dropped subzero temperatures, wind chills and snow on the Midwest and East Coast reportedly did in some bug species.

The bitter cold snap — blamed for at least 21 human deaths — may prove deadly for some harmful, invasive insect species, AccuWeather reported.

"While most insects will be equipped to survive a short period of very cold weather, like the recent polar vortex, it’s likely some will die from this extreme weather event," Brittany Campbell, entomologist with the National Pest Management Association, told the weather news site.

A Virginia Tech research experiment estimated blasts of cold arctic air might have killed as much as 95 percent of stink bugs that had not found shelter, the entomology association stated in a briefing. Other invasive species in the Northeast, such as the emerald ash borer and southern pine beetle, also are not likely to have survived.

"Also, even if adult pests freeze, they may have already laid eggs which will hatch when the weather warms," the organization noted.

Big-city cockroaches and bed bugs probably fared just fine, Campbell told AccuWeather.

"It's difficult to determine the species that would be most impacted, considering many of the insects in northern regions are equipped to handle freezing temperatures," she said.

Editor's note: A recent questsin article citing the effects of the recent polar vortex on some insect species relied on a report that inaccurately reported the date of research on the issue.

That research by Virginia Tech University found that in 2014, prolonged blasts of arctic air killed off 95 percent of stinkbugs they studied during the cold snap, as The Washington Post reported at the time, and questions remained on the impact on the entire population.

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The polar vortex that dropped subzero temperatures, wind chills and snow on the Midwest and East Coast reportedly did in some bug species.
polar vortex, cold, insects, subzero, bugs, midwest, east coast
287
2019-35-18
Monday, 18 February 2019 03:35 PM
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