While it has been a long, hard winter for people living on P.E.I., the cold, snowy weather has probably not had much of an impact on insect pests, says a provincial government expert.

Early snow cover in December offered a blanket of protection for insects, said Shauna Mellish, an agri-environmental specialist with the P.E.I. Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

"As much as we're experiencing some extreme cold and a lot of snow, the soil pests will bury themselves quite deeply and they are not as affected by that change," said Mellish.

"There hasn't been a lot of frost in our soil."

Mellish said it is freeze/thaw cycles in the soil that have the biggest impact on insect populations, and with all the snow this winter there hasn't been much of that.

There is still a possibility, she said, of spring weather that could have an influence on the pest population.