The arrival of spring in South Dakota means warmer weather and more outdoor activities. However, it also brings an increase in tick activity.
Spring green-up is the time to be watching for black grass bug activity. Large populations of this early-season pest can cause severe damage to pasture (up to 90% forage reduction) and infest the edges of wheat fields.
With their distinctive black and yellow stripes and tendency to hang out in groups, wasps receive attention no matter the time of year. As the weather warms up and spring progresses, you may notice more wasp activity in your yard or around your house.
By now, you’ve probably read headlines about the Asian giant hornets (aka “murder hornets”) that were spotted in Washington state and across the border in Canada. It is important to note that Asian giant hornets have only been confirmed in a small area of Washington and Canada. These wasps have not been observed in South Dakota or our neighboring states.
Ticks are one of the first pests to show up during spring. Learn some common ticks to watch out for in South Dakota, along with tips for preventing bites and removing ticks from your skin and clothing.
With much of South Dakota continuing to experience moderate-to-extreme drought conditions, black grass bugs could become a concern in some areas. Large populations of black grass bugs can cause severe damage to pasture.
Some herbicides can persist in soil, especially dry soil. Herbicide carryover could be an issue in 2021 across the state depending upon last year’s moisture levels and field conditions.
Insects, in general, may offer more indication of rangeland health than any other type of organism. They serve as key building blocks that other organisms depend on.
Although it may seem like mosquitos won’t be an issue this year due to drought conditions, it is important to remember that they don’t require large bodies of water to reproduce. Mosquitos can utilize standing bodies of water, small puddles or even stagnant water in containers or old tires.
Outdoor activities seem extra inviting this time of year, and many people are already enjoying the long days and warmer temperatures. Ticks and mosquitoes share the outdoors with us, but there are things you can do to prevent bites from both.