PEI

Cold P.E.I. spring slows down bugs

Bugs are back on P.E.I., but colder temperatures this spring have meant some are making their appearance slowly.

'They need the sunshine and warm temperatures so their muscles are heated up'

Some of the insects Islanders can expect to see right now are ants, blackflies, red lily leaf beetles and bees. (Submitted by Cathy Bessey)

The colder weather on P.E.I. this spring means insects are not yet out in full force, says Island entomologist Christine Noronha with Agriculture Canada.

Some of the insects Islanders can expect to see right now are blackflies, red lily leaf beetles and bees.

"Things that you are not seeing now, they are there but they're hiding. So they're out of their hibernation, but they're very quiet, they're hiding," Noronha said. 

For any of the pesky insects that you don't want crawling all over your plants — or worse, eating them —  Noronha said it's best to be out looking for them now because it's easier to control them at this stage.

Needing some sunshine

The sun is a key factor to waking up the tiny creatures — after hibernation, the bugs need warmer temperatures to get  moving, said Noronha.

'They need the sunshine and warm temperatures,' to get moving says entomologist Christine Noronha. (Kevin Yarr/CBC)

"Even with the insects that are out, they're very slow, they're not as active so they're not as actively eating your plants or moving around," said Noronha.

"They need the sunshine and warm temperatures so their muscles are heated up so that they can move."

The late bouts of frost the Island may have an effect on some insect populations like blackflies, she said.

"They don't have a lot of reserves left after spending all the winter, to protect them from a cold frost. So that's where you do get some effect on the population," Noronha said.

Insects like ants, spend their spring season foraging for food after tapping out their winter supply. Which could be why people are seeing a large influx of them, Noronha said.

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With files from Island Morning

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