Virginia Tech researchers say January’s polar vortex may have killed off a majority of invasive insect species like stink bugs.
And especially with people keeping their homes extra heated during the minus 20 degrees of the polar vortex, those pests were likely sitting cozy somewhere in your house.
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If the polar vortex occurred with no snow cover, the extreme temperatures could have reduced the number of soil-dwelling insects and could have damaged shallow rooted marginally hardy plants. Japanese beetles, a common garden pest in summer, are one of those soil-dwelling insects, and unfortunately, they will have survived the polar vortex.
"They did a walk-in picture frame with the tagline, ‘I Survived the Polar Vortex,’" she said. "After all, those folks experienced some history while they were here. These are some of the coldest.
"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," said Dr.
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A Virginia Tech research experiment suggests that January’s Polar Vortex may have been responsible for a drop in some invasive insect species.
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The polar vortex, a swirling mass of arctic air, dipped deep into the central U.S. at end of January, bringing record cold to the area. It was a short-lived excursion, however, retreating back into Canada by early February. In its path, nearly 1,400 temperature records were broken, mostly in the Midwest.
While many stinkbugs typically survive the winter, apparently the previous winter’s Polar Vortex was too cold for them and a high percentage of the population died off. According to Kuhar, the frequent fluctuations in temperature over the winter were especially devastating to the insects.
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If you live in an area that’s been hit by the recent polar vortex, you may be worried about your plants. Let me give you a few guidelines about what you may expect to see next spring. Always note however these are guidelines and individual gardens will be different so you may find that one rule does not fit every garden. Annual flowers