Middletown Springs - Sunflower Power
Almost Autumn Blog
Looking at our website, I can see that the last blog was written in the spring. This actually makes sense to anyone who is involved in the pest control world, as summers tend to “fly” by for us!
It has been such a strange season, weather-wise—lots of cool weather through most of May and then such a dry spell that lawns were turning brown in June. Next, we had rain & humidity-- lots of it. Because of the later warm temperatures and the rain, the carpenter ants made their grand entry quite “late” this year. Because of the long, hot dry spell, the skunks had a ball on the dried-out lawns! (Usually we see the skunk evidence – little holes in the grass where they harvest grubs – in the early spring and again in the late summer. This year they have never left!) Some folks even had bears show up on their porches and others had the bears dig up their lawns looking for ants! Another oddity this summer was the amount of mice going for free rent in folks’ homes. We attribute this behavior to a rise in the rodent population due to two summers of great berries and nuts and, perhaps, lack of predators?
Speaking of populations – we have heard that the coyote numbers are down this summer. Perhaps this is why the mice and turkeys are enjoying a more carefree season? On our travels throughout the state, we have seen more flocks of turkeys than herds of cows.
In our area the fox population has surged. At night we can often hear what is called a “vixen’s scream.” It is very eerie-sounding and can cause the hair to rise on your arms. My game camera has gotten photos of mother fox and three youngsters…one even mugged for the camera! These very foxes will be staying well-fed as mice are plentiful.
In summary, this has been a season of more wasp calls than new carpenter ant inquiries. Requests for summer rodent control surpassed calls for stinging insect control. We still don’t know how the over-wintering insect situation will pan out—last year with that very late mid-October first killing frost, the insects had an edge on us pest control folks!
Soon it will be fall in Vermont (Almost Autumn) and the sights will be splendid: mounds of orange pumpkins; bushels of red apples; white mists draped over morning river beds; amber, mountains of gold, orange and yellow. Enjoy!