Freezing weather this week will help cut down swarming aphids

SPOKANE, Wash.– For the first time this fall, widespread freezing temperatures are in the forecast. That could come at just the right time if you’re having trouble with small, fuzzy, flying pests in your neighborhood.

Smoky-winged ash aphids, sometimes called blue ash aphids or wooly aphids, started to appear last week across the Inland Northwest. Warmer than average temperatures during the start of fall kick-started their flight, according to the Department of Entomology at Washington State University.

These tiny bugs only take flight for a few weeks during the fall when they look for ash trees to lay their eggs for the winter. When they are airborne, however, they get stuck in your clothes and hair and splattered on your car. They always seem to end up flying right into your eyes and mouth, too.

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The one thing the aphid swarms can’t survive though is freezing temperatures. A sudden, sustained period of cooler weather is about to begin around the Inland Northwest which should last for at least a week. Freezing morning temperatures are in the forecast for Spokane and Coeur d’Alene on Friday.  A hard freeze is likely in many other parts of the Inland Northwest that morning too. Bottom line: by the weekend it should be a lot fewer aphids around.  In warmer parts of our region, it could take some longer freezes to wipe them out completely until next year but it won’t be quite as buggy as it was recently.

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