WASHINGTON – This year will bring good and bad news on the bug front.
The good news: Asian tiger mosquitos won’t be out as early as last year because the weather has been cooler.
“The daily biting delight that happens as you work in your garden will be pushed back significantly,” says bug expert Mike Raupp, an entomology professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.
The pests are expected to be about two weeks later than normal.
“By this time last year spider mites were rolling. We had many insects with rapid development rates that got a jumpstart on the season. They could squeeze in more seasons,” Raupp says.
The bad news: The damage done by invasive species in the Washington metro area adds up to millions.
Among the invasive species causing the damage are Asian tiger mosquitoes, Emerald ash borers, gypsy moths and Asian longhorned beetles.
“Emerald ash borer alone has been estimated that it will exceed nearly $230 million worth of damage to ash trees in the state alone,” says Maryland’s Deputy Agriculture Secretary Mary Ellen Settings.
Gypsy moth. (Courtesy of USDA)
She urges plant lovers to refrain from bringing plants from other countries home with them.
And she says gardeners should watch for strange plants or bugs they have never seen and have them checked out.
Fairfax County is in for an infestation of nasty cankerworms, Raupp says. Infestations have been found in the Lee and Mount Vernon Districts.
The county will treat for cankerworms in mid- to late April. See the map for the areas affected.
And the stage is set for the noisy spring emergence of the 17-year-cicada throughout Maryland.
Asian tiger mosquito (Thinkstock)
Asian longhorned beetle (Courtesy of Ohio DNR)
Cankerworm (Courtesy of Fairfax County)