Texoma Beetle Barrage - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Texoma Beetle Barrage

Texoma is being invaded by beetles.  The insects are the latest creatures affected by the warm Winter and early Summer weather.  Insect populations normally cut down by freezing temperatures, are now thriving.

Dr. Roy Vogtsberger is an Associate Professor of Biology At Midwestern State University.  He said while the heat can affect the bugs, its the lack of cold causing them to flourish this year.  Dr. Vogtsberger said, "There's defiantly a lot more.  They are falling right on the heels of a population of these Cut Worm and Army Worm Caterpillars that were in a high abundance. We're seeing the population dynamics of a couple different species here where the caterpillars were the food for these particular types of beetles".

The increase in caterpillars, led to the bump in number of beetles.  Caterpillars that don't fall prey to beetles, are growing into another population that's on the rise: Moths.  

"They're the adult stages of these caterpillars and their main purpose is to go out and mate and reproduce and lay eggs and make more of these caterpillars".

Dr. Vogtsberger said when it comes to animals harming you or your garden, the beetles are actually a welcome sight.

"They'll be beneficial since they're taking out the caterpillars which are the things actually eating your gardens and plants.  pretty much you just live with them, I don't think it would be worth using any kind of insect repellent, insecticides or anything like that".

The insect population should stabilize in the next few weeks, as mating season comes to an end and the older insects die off.  But with more beetles and moths laying eggs, next Spring could be even worse if this Winter doesn't bring freezing temperatures.

Jack Lamson, Newschannel 6

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