• Record-setting heat wave helping bugs breed in northeast Florida

    By: Jenna Bourne

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A record-setting heat wave means bugs are thriving this winter.

    The warm temperatures aren’t just bringing unexpected beach days to this holiday season; they’re also bringing bugs.

    The prolonged warm weather means bugs have had more time to breed, which is why you may have noticed them biting at your Christmas party.

    “The bugs have just been worse and worse each time we’ve done this. But the temperature’s great, so we have to be outside,” said Eric Bass, who braved the bugs for a run on Monday.

    Normally winter’s cool temperatures mean it’s a slower time of year for Peninsular Pest Control, but the company’s technical director George Richardson said lately their phones are ringing off the hook.

    “You will see not only more roaches, ants, fleas, but in addition we’ve also seen mosquitos. We were at at a party last night and had mosquitoes biting us and that’s not normal with the cooler temperatures,” said Richardson.

    Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh has no freeze in the First Alert Forecast for the next seven days -- and that means the bugs have more time to breed. Buresh said Jacksonville has never gone an entire winter without a freeze, although it has taken as long as April in years’ past.

    Warmer temperatures also cause new plant growth, which attracts aphids who like to eat the plants, which attracts ants who like to eat the aphids.

    “It’s just a complete life cycle,” said Richardson.

    To cut down on bugs on your property, Richardson said to caulk holes to prevent pests from getting in. He also recommends getting rid of places where pests can breed, like standing water in a bird bath.

    Next Up: