Small, winged insects, mostly found near sources of light at night and in a heap under them the next morning, have been buzzing for the last two-three weeks and experts say they will be around for a few days more. According to entomologist R K Seth, a professor at Delhi University, the insects are aphids and weather conditions this time of the year are ideal for them to reproduce.
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“Most of the insects we see buzzing around these days are aphids. They thrive in weather conditions where the average temperature is 25°C and the humidity is around the 60 per cent mark,” said Seth.
The life span of the male insect is short — as less as about 10 hours in some species. Aphids feed on plant juices, said the expert.
“The male insect spends most of his energy in mating. He needs to fly to fertilise the eggs and dies of fatigue after the process is over,” said Seth.
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“The females live on to lay eggs, which hatch in spring,” he said.
The bugs started appearing in Delhi two-three weeks ago when the temperatures started to dip following the departure of monsoon.
During this time, the maximum and minimum temperatures hovered around 37°C and 17°C, respectively.
In the coming week, the temperatures are expected to be between 34°C and 18°C. According to Seth, even light rain can increase the number of bugs.
Aphids slow down the reproduction process when the temperature drops below 15°C. In Delhi, that usually happens in November.