AGAWAM, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The warmer temperatures in the forecast this weekend are a welcome sight for many, including insects.
A local entomologist says don't be surprised this weekend if you see a variety of insects get a bit confused and come out of hibernation thinking Spring has sprung.
Sixty degrees plus in January, an alarm clock for some insects called over Wintering insects.
"You might see a lot of those ladybugs, western conifer seed bugs, stink bugs reemerging as the temperature gets a little bit warmer, as well as paper wasps that have maybe over Wintered in people's attics or chimneys," Natasha Wright. an entomologist for Braman Pest Control, explained.
Natasha tells Western Mass News that includes disease carrying insects and arachnids, like ticks.
"It’s a possibility that we can see ticks. Depending on the species, some of the adults can live for three years, which means they are surviving the Winter in some way. Either surviving on their warm host animal that they're sucking the blood out of or they're sheltering in leaf litter or places like that," continued Wright.
And, she says, don't be surprised to see a lone wasp or two, but don't be concerned either.
Most of the colony likely died off in the first hard frost, leaving the new queen to Winter over.
"Those overwintering queens that've made their way into your home, they're not associated with any kind of nest. They'll just be an individual wasp in your house. They're not aggressive, because they're not protecting a colony. They're going to be moving pretty slowly and pretty docile," stated Wright.
The up-and-down roller coaster temps we've had over the Fall and now Winter may make it difficult for the insect population come Spring.
"Hibernation, think of a bear that's hibernating over the Winter. The more often that an insect comes out of hibernation, the less likely it is to survive throughout that entire period, so if you have multiple warm-cold cycles, they're less likely to survive until the Spring," added Wright.
Which could mean reduced populations of some insects and arachnids come Spring, but entomologists say any insect reemergence will be short lived once those colder temperatures move back in.