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The impact of a late, cold, and rainy spring on pests


May 24th, 2011
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May 2011 draws to a close and it will make history for many reasons. The sun has rarely been seen, the chilly Eastern winds have been frequent and never ending floods remind us that it rained heavily. How will it impact insect populations for the summer season coming up? ...

The impact of a late, cold, and rainy spring on pests

May 2011 draws to a close and it will make history for many reasons. The sun has rarely been seen, the chilly Eastern winds have been frequent and never ending floods remind us that it rained heavily. How will it impact insect populations for the summer season coming up?

The emergence of general household pests is delayed from 3 weeks to 1 month at least compared to last year which gave us an early and sunny spring. Carpenter ants remained inside of houses, feeding on sweets because of poor outdoor conditions and late bloom. Surprising enough, winged ants swarms (in ant colonies, winged males and females gather in swarms to mate. It is common to see gulls that feed on them flying in a circular fashion through the swarm) have been observed at the end of last week. Field ants (the ones making small sandy craters) are just beginning to be active in the Quebec region.

Because of abundant rainfall, it is clear that mosquitoes will easily find nesting sites since numerous ponds and stagnant water prevails everywhere. They should be very active this summer. It may be quite different for earwigs because the rate of drowning in eggs and young will probably be high. The female lays her eggs in the soil and it is very likely that many of them were flooded.

Finally, wasps did not experience winning conditions so far this spring. The queens will need to work long hours to ensure that the first workers come lend a hand to enlarge the nest. Barring a major turnaround, it would not be surprising to see fewer of these stingers this summer.

We always take a risk in making those predictions because insects are living creatures. There are a lot of factors that may affect their presence and population levels. However, our "gamble" is based on accurate data on their biology and habits.

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