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Mild winter now means more bugs later

Friday - 2/3/2012, 3:38pm  ET

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Unfortunately, a milder winter means more insects in the summer time. (Courtesy)

WASHINGTON - While the D.C. region enjoys the mild winter, it will be paying the price later this year when it comes to insects.

With so few cold days and temperatures mostly in the 50's , 60's and 70's this season, more bugs will be showing up come summer time.

Terry Erwin, research entomologist with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History says an over abundance of bugs will arrive as the summer season does "because they didn't get killed in the frost."

He says during a normal winter "the soil freezes down, the trees freeze under the bark and a lot of bugs get killed."

Without the freezing temperatures many of the insects survive meaning a higher than average bug population for the D.C. area.

The mild temperatures are also affecting plants in the region with some flowers already blooming because of the warm weather.

Insects, however, remain on their regular timetable and won't be coming out of hibernation to pollinate until summer.

"The blossoms will be dropping much earlier and if they're not pollinated… then the seeds for the next generation won't be viable," Erwin says.

WTOP's Veronica Robinson contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)