The Cyclical Nature of Insect Populations
GardenLine Appearance This Saturday at Georgia's Market, 12171 Katy Freeway
I don't really need to go into entomological detail regarding the insect problems we are having — or not having — this year. But I do want to point out some infestations, and lack thereof, in this cyclical insect summer of 2010.
What sparked my interest in this was the overwhelming number of calls and e-mails I've received on bark lice in just the past week. It seems to be a big year for them.
I commented on the air last weekend that it has been years since I've had so many bark lice questions. And there's no rhyme or reason for such a phenomenon, other than the fact that many insects are cyclical. They will be numerous one year and essentially disappear the next. Often, a cyclical insect void can last for several years.
Other examples of cyclical insects in the Gulf Coast region are cicada killers (right photo), asps, love bugs (left photo), bark aphids and leaf miners.
We would love to have a "disappearing" cycle for pests like fire ants, but sadly they are here to stay. On the other hand, mosquitoes have not been a big problem this year. Not because of the freeze of 2010 or some sort of on-off cycle — they simply need more moisture than we've received this August. They did rear their ugly heads in July, when we were getting lots of rain, but the severe lack of moisture and extreme heat lately has really bitten in to their breeding capabilities.
So, if you need a positive side to this brutal heat, there it is.
Even though mosquito populations are down, this is actually the best time to have mosquito misting systems installed, because those companies are offering their best possible deals. If you are interested in doing your own mosquito control or having someone install one for you, check out the e-mail tip I recently did on the subject.
And, the next time you have a peculiar insect infestation, and it's been years since you seen them, don't panic. Just remember that many of our insect friends are on cycles that can keep them away for several years.
Lunch & Learn at Georgia's Market, 12171 Katy Freeway
First, print a copy of this e-mail tip and bring it to me. I'll have several organic products to give away to subscribers on a first-come, first-served basis.
Second, you'll get to sit in air conditioned comfort to ask questions of me and a couple of "organic experts" — John Ferguson with Nature's Way Resources and Mike Serant with MicroLife. John and Mike are bringing bags of their products to give away, and I'm cleaning out all the organic goodies from our prize closet to bring along.
And third ... and possibly the most important reason ... is to dive into Georgia's remarkable salad bar with a $2 off coupon available on their website. I'm a particularly big fan of their chicken salads, the guacamole, the mango pico de gallo, and their numerous homemade dressings.
So, with the lure of great giveaways, the expert panel, and Georgia's fantastic food, I expect to see you there!
and 7-10 a.m. Sundays, exclusively on NewsRadio 740 KTRH.
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