So, Southern farmers and gardeners, you thought that with all this cold weather, it would knock back the insects and help you make a better crop this year.
Not so! Says an Auburn University professor quoted in this month’s Alabama IPM Communicator.
“Some crops, fruit trees and even livestock animals may fall prey to cold weather, but insects can survive even record cold,” says Dr. XingPing Hu, an Alabama Extension entomologist and Auburn University professor of entomology.
Mosquitoes aren’t affected, she said, pointing to Alaska and Minnesota, which have extreme cold — and extreme mosquitoes when it warms up.
Not even the dreaded fire ant is much affected by the type of cold weather the South has experienced this year.
“Fire ants need two weeks of temps below 10 degrees Fahrenheit to have any effect on the number of ant colonies,” she says.
Jim PathFinder Ewing is a journalist, author, and former organic farmer now teaching natural, sustainable and organic agricultural practices. His latest book is Conscious Food: Sustainable Growing, Spiritual Eating (Findhorn Press). Find Jim on Facebook, follow him @EdiblePrayers or @OrganicWriter or visit blueskywaters.com.