Tips for managing spring Insect pests

posted in the IPM Communicator by Ann Chambliss, Alabama Cooperative Extension Service

There are thousands of insects in residential ecosystems, most of which emerge in response to the weather, temperature in particular. Spring weather conditions can change considerably from year to year, so can the time to take action against a certain insect. For centuries, people have used plant phenology (blooms, leaf flush) as nature’s signs to set up wasp traps and mend window screens to fend off house flies. Phenology uses the correlation of recurring seasonal plant and insect life cycle stages, rather than calendar date, to predict the activity of pests.

Though the exact dates of emergence of the same species may vary from year to year, pest emergence around homes in Alabama occurs in a very similar order every year. The temperature-dependent biology of insects makes them better in tune with an ever changing climate, than the calendar. Continue reading