Experts expecting a boom in bugs this spring in the Valley

Nico Payne Image
Friday, April 14, 2023
Experts expecting a boom in bugs this spring in the Valley
Experts are expecting an increase in gnats and mosquitos, but there are also some more uncommon pests to look out for.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- With wetter months behind us, the season for flying critters and creepy crawlers is among us.

Experts are expecting an increase in gnats and mosquitos, but there are also some more uncommon pests to look out for.

You may notice more pests flying and crawling around this spring and summer...bug experts tell us not all bugs are what you may think, and there are some rare pests they are looking out for that could destroy grapes.

With the record rainfall and continuing flooding, we've seen so far this year, the increased moisture is the perfect breeding ground for a number of insects.

"Everything's damp, mulch underneath the mulch is damp, underneath rocks and stuff like that is damp. So it's just a perfect breeding ground for the insects," said Bob Hill, Owner of B&D Pest Control Inc.

Experts say the best thing to do to combat an infestation is to mow down that lush green grass, so insects don't have a breeding ground.

"That's a great preventative strategy, to knock down those weeds and grasses before the pest population builds up," said Gene Hannon, Staff Entomologist with Fresno County Department of Agriculture.

An increase in more common insects like mosquitoes and ticks is expected, but before you put all the blame on mosquitos, take a closer look, it could be a midge or a crane fly, as the flying insect population is expected to boom.

Bob Hill, Owner of B&D Pest Control Inc. says this season the culprit he will be on the lookout for is the Turkestan cockroach, which could populate at alarming rates.

"It's going to be a roach that's around customers' houses that reproduce twice as fast as a normal roach does and they are going to be looking for heat and moisture, that's the things they want," said Hill.

A rare flying insect farmers should look out for this season is the spotted lanternfly which is typically more common on the east coast.

"If anybody sees it, they would know right away this is not something they'd normally see. We'd worry about it because it's a known pest of grapes, so we'd be concerned about our vineyards out here," added Hannon.

If you do have a pest in your home or yard and you want it identified, the county does provide a service where staff will hang traps to capture and identify those pests.

For more information, click here.

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