Expert discusses how cold weather affects plants, mosquitoes

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The freezing temperatures are gone for now, but the damage left behind is certainly noticeable. The winter season is a welcomed relief from mosquitoes nagging biting. But will the latest Arctic freeze keep those pests at bay once temperatures warm up?

Plant and mosquito expert, Glenn Stokes, says that's wishful thinking.

“What we can expect this spring is a slow increase in mosquitoes as temperatures rise,” said Stokes. “There will certainly be fewer mosquitoes before winter started but mosquitoes won't disappear.”

Even in sub-zero temperatures, Stokes says mosquitos and their larva can survive.  But those temps are a little tougher on plants. Even if they're wilted or turning brown, Stokes says they may not be dead.

“It's very disappointing, however, don't give up because a lot of these plants will survive with their rhizomes and root system,” said Stokes.

And unless the plant is mushy, which means it may be infected with bacteria and fungi, avoid cutting until after the last winter freeze, since the dead matter also helps insulate.

Every single degree counts when it comes to whether a plant lives or dies. One easy way to add a little heat is to place plants around or against brick. It's actually a great heat conductor.

And although it may be tempting to re-pot or over-fertilize what looks like a struggling plant, Stokes says leave it alone.

“These plants are under a lot of stress right now, tremendous stress and don't forget, winter is not over,” said Stokes.

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