If you have ever been curious about which types of insects are common in certain regions of America, the National Pest Management Association releases a nationwide insect report twice each year. This report tells homeowners, pest control professionals, entomologists and researchers where certain insects are concentrated on a map of America. The regions where certain insects dwell can change from report to report. Obviously, factors such as the climate and the season make big differences concerning insect population levels in certain regions. This is why the NMPA releases two geographical reports every year. This report is referred to as the “Bug Barometer”, and it tells people where in America certain insect pests will likely become a problem. This year the major tropical storm known as la Nina will have a major effect on the abundance and distribution of certain insect pests.


When developing predictions for the bi-annual Bug Barometer, experts refer to three primary factors influencing insect populations. These factors include a region’s climate, weather predictions, and the biological behavior of particular insects. When taking these three factors in account, accurate predictions can be made concerning the location of certain insect pest species during the year. For example, the northeast US and New England experienced a winter with several heavy snowstorms and extremely cold temperatures. This meteorological data can be used to determine the region’s tick populations this summer.


During this past winter cold and dry conditions were the norm in the southern midwest region. There are many insects that seek moisture for survival, and ants are one of them. The dry conditions have forced ants indoors in search of sustenance and moisture. This will become clear to homeowners this spring. This last winter was an especially cold one in the southeast US. Colder than normal conditions in the southeast may have killed-off a sizable amount of some bugs in the region. However, the region’s moisture levels remain high, which will provide the perfect environment for mosquitoes this summer. The Bug Barometer is easily accessible, and the public is encouraged to consult the barometer.


Do you think it would be interesting to conduct a retrospective study concerning the past accuracy of certain predictions that were put forth in previous bug barometer predictions?


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