UPDATE – FOX 17 – AccuWeather has issued a statement, saying that the original report as shared was not accurate.
“Following prolonged blasts of arctic air in January 2014, researchers at Virginia Tech University found that the extreme cold killed off 95 percent of stinkbugs they had been studying during the cold snap, according to a report by The Washington Post. The Post reported that the 2014 polar vortex invasion caused temperatures in the D.C. area to plunge into the single digits, but questions remained about how much of an impact the extreme cold had on the stinkbug population at large outside of those being studied at Virginia Tech.”
Also, as a meteorologist in Illinois explains here, most of them are living in our homes already.
The dangerous cold snap caused more than two dozen weather-related deaths in eight states and hundreds of injuries, including frostbite, broken bones, heart attacks, and carbon monoxide poisoning.
But the bitter cold across the Midwest also may have been harmful to invasive species, according to the National Pest Management Association.
“While most insects will be equipped to survive a short period of very cold weather like the recent polar vortex, it’s likely some will die from this extreme weather event,” said Dr. Brittany Campbell, an entomologist with the NPMA, told AccuWeather.
A Virginia Tech research experiment estimated that the polar vortex may have killed as much as 95 percent of stink bugs that hadn’t found shelter this winter, according to the group.
Other invasive species in the Northeast, such as the emerald ash borer and southern pine beetle, also are not likely to survive the winter cold.
But the bugs won’t be gone altogether. “Even if adult pests freeze, they may have already laid eggs which will hatch when the weather warms,” the organization said. Some insects are able to withstand temperatures well below zero, with the limit for many insects that can “super freeze” being typically around minus 30 degrees, according to AccuWeather. That includes cockroaches and bed bug populations which would not be affected by the cold in cities like New York City.
“It’s difficult to determine the species that would be most impacted, considering many of the insects in northern regions are equipped to handle freezing temperatures,” Campbell told AccuWeather.