It's been a cold start to the new year and we know freezing temperatures can damage plants and crops, but could it also decrease the population of bugs and weeds?
Freezing temperatures are on the agenda this week for weather in Central Georgia. It's a stark contrast to this time last year when temperatures were in the 60s.
This January, with a week of below freezing temperatures, is that bad news for weeds and bugs?
"Usually right around our bushes and then we'll get some in our grass," Lina Sealy said.
Sealy of Milledgeville says she's grateful the cold weather knocked out some of her weeds for the season and the fleas for her dogs that spend a lot of time outside.
"In the summer, it becomes a problem where we're having to buy collars and give them medication, but this year since it's been so cold, they kind of went away quickly," Sealy said.
But the question is will they stay away?
We set out to verify if this cold weather reduces the amount of bugs and weeds?
Robbie Jones, Coordinator for the UGA Extension office in Baldwin County, says no.
"It can have an impact," Jones said. "Is it going to cause a gigantic decrease? Is it going to be a cure-all? No."
Jones says it could take several months of continuous cold weather to determine whether it would have a major impact.
"I wouldn't say one week of it I would feel comfortable to say yes, but I think as time will tell when we get to March, April, we can better make that decision on whether it would be a yes. It could, but it's going to take that time," Jones said.
But Jones says if bugs and weeds are something you're worried about in your yard, you can help your situation by knocking out places bugs can survive.
"Are we getting those leaves out of the yard? Are we getting away from that standing water that is in our yard in tires and barrels, anything that's in your yard? Are we controlling that habitat? Because when we give that lush habitat, those insects are going to rebound," Jones said.
So we verified, no, the cold weather this week will not reduce the population of bugs and weeds by a significant amount, but if this cold streak continues, it could.
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