Jim Dill, an entomologist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was interviewed by the Bangor Daily News about the effect of warm late-winter temperatures on Maine’s grub and tick population. Dill said grubs are more active than usual, which has skunks active earlier than usual. He also predicted a “pretty good” tick year but said the mosquito population could be down.
Posts Tagged ‘grubs’
The spate of cool, wet, drizzly weather may be keeping mosquitoes, ticks and black flies at bay, but they and other backyard pests will be noticeable soon as the temperatures rise. University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator and insect diagnostician Clay Kirby is available to offer advice on ways to reduce nuisance pests.
Whether they are biting, stinging insects buzzing around people and pets, crawling inside clothes, or grub worms destroying lawns and gardens from below, pest management requires expert advice to be sure homeowners are getting at the root of the problem, rather than treating the symptoms and possibly overusing toxic chemicals.
Kirby cautions that homeowners should be knowledgeable about soil type, groundwater protection and surface runoff patterns, which may affect lakes, ponds, rivers and streams before using pesticides on lawns.
As for biting and stinging insects, he recommends personal protective tactics such as limiting exposed skin and repellents.
“Once the weather warms and dries up we should have good number of black flies, especially near streams and rivers,” Kirby says. “It should be noted that black fly populations are not always evenly distributed, but can be in localized dense swarms.”
Most of the white grubs brought to Extension’s Orono lab from the Brewer, Old Town, Orono and the Bangor areas this spring are European chafer grubs. “This species of white grub starts feeding earlier in the spring, feeds more aggressively, and feeds later into the fall, than the other species in the area,” Kirby says.
European chafer grubs have been plentiful in this area for the last three years, he says. People preferring an organic approach for the management of the next generation of white grubs may consider using beneficial nematodes during the last three weeks of August. Beneficial nematodes are tiny predatory worms that infest soil insects, entering the pest through various openings and eat it from the inside out. Preventive measures targeting the next generation of grubs using conventional materials generally work best when applied in June and July.
Kirby, in Orono, can be reached at 581-2963 or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for additional advice.
Contact: Clay Kirby, 581-2963