Every year we experience some sort of a pest scourge. From scorpions to lovebugs, they all get their time to shine and appear at different intervals. This year, we decided to use our experience, education, and wild guesses to make predictions about what pests will do in the year to come.
Centipedes, millipedes, earwigs, and pillbugs
There should be no problems until late July to mid-August. Irrigated areas will probably experience moderate problems, but a wet summer could make it severe. The drought hammered these moisture loving pests last year, leaving them with lower starting numbers for this year. However, we believe we won’t have nearly as dry conditions this summer, which means there will be plenty of empty habitat for them to invade. If wetter conditions prevail, these pests may start weak but finish strong.
These critters still inspire fear in many people, and will be bad again this year, with problems starting even earlier. We had big numbers last year and no harsh winter temperatures or predators to kill off overwintering adults.
In a word, epic. We believe spiders of all kinds will be the scourge of 2012. We have had zero overwintering wasp calls. That suggests wasp populations are way down as wasps feed mainly on spiders. Without wasps keeping them in check, spider numbers are going to explode. The only thing holding them back will be food supply, but they are not above eating each other.
Based on our assumption that we won’t have another summer as dry and hot as the last one, mosquitoes should be a fairly big problem. Also, a lot of mosquito predators are aquatic and we lost a ton of those predators last summer, which may allow mosquitoes to get an early start. There might be a large increase in West Nile Virus over last year. Diseases in general are cyclical and we bottomed out on the cycle in the last few years and are due for an uptick. Also, an early start for mosquitoes will get the virus built up in their population earlier.
Grasshoppers and Crickets
The lack of predators like ants and wasps in non-irrigated areas will allow these pests to explode late in the summer. We predict moderate to severe problems starting in August.
Ants and most other pests
In general, we think this will be an average year for ants. Many of the other pests, including most ant species, were concentrated in irrigated areas like your yards last year due to dry conditions, and will remain about the same this year. They will probably be greatly reduced in non-irrigated areas.
Those are our wild predictions for 2012. It will be interesting to see if we’re dead on (pun intended) or way off. The one thing you can be sure of is that there will be something this pest season that will be worse than you can ever remember. What are your pest predictions for 2012?