Too cold to hatch?

PestTracker sightings are coming in now (thanks to everyone getting involved) but to me, it doesn’t really feel like it’s kicked off properly yet.

It’s true to say the Spring flush is never as dramatic as the Autumn one but with the level of interest and concern there is around this pest currently I’m not sure things have started properly yet.

I’ve recorded this blog as a podcast if you fancy listening to it rather than reading it.

I thought I’d take a little time to look at the data we have and plot the temperatures we’ve seen over the years and see if I could predict the Spring hatch.

In the below charts I’ve taken the Maximum temperature for all of the above locations and plotted the lowest, the highest and the middle to get the best idea possible of the temperature around the country.

I’ve then marked the reported start of the Spring hatches with a green target.

In 2019 we just started this project, so it’s very possible we were a little late to the party this year but sightings were reported from around the second week in May – once we started to hit 20C as a max temperature.

In 2020 we saw an initial influx of sightings around the second week of April then it slowed and kicked off again around he 3rd week of May again tying in with 20C.

In 2021 we have had record low temperatures and we started to see reports coming in around the second week of April and the sightings have been ticking along since but with no obvious spike in the numbers.

Looking at the forecast that 20C figure doesn’t look like it’s coming anytime soon.

Leatherjacket control is a big industry challenge right now and high LeatherJacket numbers coupled with these prolonged cold springs is a recipe for problems.

Keep monitoring the numbers, keep sharing them with your golfing customers – I know they don’t want to hear excuses but we have to keep them in the picture. Whilst 20C isn’t the answer to everything, I’m sure we’ll see a significant number of this pest hatch and fly away and we’ll start to see some decent growth to help recovery.

Remember – if you do see them hatch – I’m really interested to know what species you see – feedback form here…..

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