Expert: Heat wards off bugs and fall colors

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The countdown is on for the Autumnal Equinox. Along with it comes several season favorites, and nuisances.

Quad City Botanical Center Announces Fall 2019 events.(Image Download: MGN Credit: Pixabay)

Experts said the dry heat could mean fall colors in East Tennessee aren't as bright. But bad news for the trees could be good news when it comes to bugs in your home. Experts said the weather will keep fall bugs at bay a little longer. TWRA said, meanwhile, other animals will be on the hunt for water.

As the dry weather pattern continues, David Vandergriff, an arborist, said you'll want to water newer trees. He said, for now, older trees are okay.

"People need to be really concerned about those and make sure they're watering them."

He said a drought will stress the trees and dry out the roots. As they overwork, that could mean fall colors won't be as deep. Vandergriff said more rain, clear and sunny days, and cool nights are the perfect equation for solid colors.

Peak season is typically the third week of October. Vandergriff said we will know more about the peak colors in a few weeks.

As for bugs, Vandergriff said the dry heat is good to keep them out of your home. He said fall invaders, like beetles and stink bugs will wait for shorter days and the first cold snap to head inside. He said in the meantime it's good to call pest control to come to your house and seal up any cracks.

"That's when they'll start to come into our homes in large numbers, which everyone hates to see happen," he said. "You have to be proactive and do [pest control] before."

No rain does mean less mosquitoes because there is no standing water for them to breed.

TWRA said mosquitoes are an important food source for bats, some birds, and other creatures. As drought conditions become more extreme, mosquito breeding areas dry up which TWRA said reduces food sources.

As drought conditions become more and more extreme, suitable breeding areas for mosquitoes dry up. For bats, a reduction in food resources could potentially mean reduced fat stores that are critical to sustain them throughout hibernation.

Drought can also bring other wildlife into people's yards. TWRA said water put out for pets, swimming pools, and bird baths become a "magnet for animals searching for water."

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