FIRST ALERT: How winter's cold and spring's rain impacts insects

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - Even this frigid winter couldn't combat the impending return of insects. The winter of 2018 was one of the coldest and iciest winters in history, but the return of the heavy spring rains have helped bring back a familiar foe, the mosquito.

"The cold weather kinda helped a little bit, but now with the wet weather, it's changing it a bit."

Brad Miller and his team at Palmetto Exterminators in Murrells Inlet are noticing the blessing of this winter's effect on bugs.

"A lot of times that helps them for the fact that They'll hibernate a little bit better and it will take out a little bit of them, makes them not being able to breed and reproduce as much. Previous two years, we really didn't have winters, I mean everything kept breeding."

While the winter cold helped control the insect population, the spring rains have done the opposite.

"The heavy rains gives a lot of moisture around and gives you more breeding grounds for mosquitoes and so forth."

Miller says this year the amount of calls about mosquitoes is already on par with high activity of the past few years.

He says our humid climate with frequent rains create plenty of puddles of standing water, ideal for these insects to breed.

However, not all bodies of water around your home are bad.

"Try not to have any areas that can actually breed them. Bird baths are one thing, you can have the bird baths and that's not a bad thing because the birds eat the mosquitoes. Same thing with a fountain and that has running water and it's going to circulate that a little bit."

Miller goes on to say that pots, wheel barrows and any stagnant water are areas you should dry out. He adds mosquitoes can't fly far, usually only 150 feet in their lifetime.

As summer temperatures ramp up, so will the number of insects.

"Higher heat, you get more gnats, drain flies, and obviously mosquitoes with the moisture is well."

Miller adds the main insect culprits his team is noticing this season are actually centipedes, spiders and ants.

March through September are prime time for bugs breeding in our area.

For a library of information on common insects in the Carolinas, follow this link from Palmetto Exterminators.

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