A cool, wet May combined with a warm start to June and a predicted blast of hot and humid weather will provide the perfect conditions for an explosion of creepy crawlies not normally seen in the UK.
Jim Dale, senior meterologist at British Weather Services, says despite occasional hiccups, we can expect a barbecue summer ahead, but the downside will be vast numbers of mosquitoes, horseflies, aphids, ants, and blue bottles - as well as more likeable butterflies and ladybirds.
He said: “Farmers tell us that the silaging and grass-cutting is up to a month behind where it normally is.
"Also there has been a lack of insects and creepy crawlies that we normally see at this time of year. I haven’t seen a single butterfly yet.
“The reason for this is simple. We had a ropey May with temperatures 1.5-2 degrees below average and almost double the amount of rainfall. This has subdued the growth of plants and crops and in turn delayed the insects.
“We had a promising April with lots of sunshine and everybody expected summer to get going then, but it stalled badly. The farmers are now telling us that as the weather heats up they expect an infestation – aphids, wasps and mosquitoes.
“The mosquitoes in this country don’t carry malaria, but there has always been the threat that with global warming that eventually we will get malaria travelling up from Africa and the continent.
“We are well into June now and although we have seen some warm days, the nights have still been cool. This has subdued everything, and what happens is that when things have been subdued and then the conditions change the insect world tends to go on a frenzied population explosion.
“Once we get very warm and humid weather, which we are expecting in the second half of this month and into July, we will literally see hosts of the good, the bad and the ugly of the insect world.”
Jim is forecasting warm, settled weather this week, before an unsettled cooler weekend, and then says things will hot up markedly later in the month.
He said: “Because we had a poor May, more often than not, mother nature tends to provide the other side of the coin. I fully expect us to recoup our hesitant summer.
"It may come in short bursts of hot and humid weather, with some rainfall which provides perfect conditions for insects.
“At the moment we are experiencing our normal British weather of warmer days and cooler nights, but once the tide turns those pent-up insects will explode.”
And this could mean misery for the nation’s farmers, as well as a nuisance for barbecuing Brits.
Jim explained: “Farmers could be in for some distress because if the hordes of insects they are expecting come to fruition, they will start eating their crops just as they are popping up. They are coming!”
Originally published on Mirror Online.