Lack of Bugs!

Bensenville, IL(Zone 5a)

Usually by this time of year my roses are overrun by Japanese beetles, my milkweeds are sooty with aphid droppings and my salvias are eaten up by earwigs. So far none of that has happened. I guess our brutal winter had some benefits. On the down side I wonder how many beneficial insects suffered populations declines. What has been your experience?

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Fewer Japanese Beetles , Fewer destructive insects , But lots and lots of ants and Mosquitoes here ,
Aphids , the yellow ones , have not appeared on my milkweeds here , first time in years that they have been a no show .
I can live with that! lol

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Here in the PNW I have not had the usual spider mites that always get on my pole beans and cucumbers- no aphids either. I think the severe cold did it- I do have lots of bees which makes me happy-and dragonflies everywhere!

Hobart, IN

JB numbers greatly reduced this year but they also started about 10 days later than last year. Additionally, I cut down the porcelain berry vine that they've been greatly attracted to so maybe that's helped. Maybe more rain washing away JB pheromones? Maybe fewer native bees but hard to tell. Lots of dragonflies here too.

(Chris), IA(Zone 5a)

Here in middle Iowa, I've seen 2 JB so far and only in the last week - thank goodness! Last year was horrible with them. I too think it's all the rain and maybe even the very cold winter we had. Whatever is causing it, I'm one happy camper :)

More dragonflies and butterflies this year, so that's another yay!

Hobart, IN

Sadly, I have noticed fewer lightning bugs in my area but others 10 miles away say the level is about the same. JBs are still at a manageable level. I'm catching about 10 per day on average so that's great.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Hello Cindy . How's your Sunday ? Oh I Smashed about a dozen JB''s this week , they love Beans and a few . Lots of everything else , flies , mosquitoes , Cute lightning bugs , Locusts , Grasshoppers , leafhoppers , Loopers ,Ants by the pound ,, and a good assortment of bees ,, Wow what a banquet for Toads ,Frogs and Birds ..
It 's an invasion !!! ..

Jim Falls, WI(Zone 4a)

Here north of Eau Claire we have fewer bees. In fact it is very noticeable. Lots of skeeters and that means We have tons of Dragonflies. DH was doing some work with the bulldozer and a Dragonfly landed on the dash with a skeeter in it's mouth. GO DRAGONFLIES!!! Deerflies seem to be down as we are cooler this summer. Haven't been outside enough to notice what else is going on in the bug. Too much going to work.

Hobart, IN

juhur - I keep hoping that the birds here will learn from yours (as you mentioned last year) how to catch and eat JBs.
Have been catching a few more the last couple of days but did notice that they congregate in fewer areas after a good rain. If it doesn't rain for a couple of days, they choose extra spots. I'm practicing at catching the JBs in mid-air with my coffee can of soapy water - adds some excitement to the JB patrol. For whatever reason, the skeeters disappeared yesterday when it was dry and breezy but will probably be back today with the overcast skies this morning. DH sprays a mosquito yard control product because we have so many but I keep him out of certain areas with the stuff and he's allowed to only spray in the early morning before the other beneficials come out. Our GDs like to be outdoors without resorting to using OFF. Don't get many grasshoppers (probably due to our shade) and flies aren't usually a problem.

Effingham, SC(Zone 8a)

This past spring and summer, very few JB. I had two traps out last year and between them had disposed of six bags full. Whether it was a combo of the cooler weather , having caught so many last yeaer or both, much fewer. That being said, while my weeping cherry had almost no damage by the JB, having been decimated the last two years, the roses around the house itself were deleafed by something. This is their second year and were taken down to the ground by the winter. All are shrub roses. So, maybe, the JB or whatever stayed closer to the ground due to the cold, but visually, the JB were carce and only 1/8 to 1/4 of one bag each trap filled. The roses in the bed far from the house structure were not touched by whatever got the roses by the house. My neighbor had JB decimate her roses. We are about an acre and a half apart from each other. Not too bad on Mosquitos, but all my bird bath had mosquito donuts in them and I kept the run-off creek that cuts through my property pretty clear of obstructions to allow the water to move avoiding stagnancy. I had tons of bees, especially over the Heleniums, Achilleas and Scabiosas, but I just planted the perennial beds last summer (our first in this house) and this past spring. I'm hoping that helped the bee population some as I heard that they were hit hard by the winter. Was hoping for more butterflies, though we had three hummingbirds this year, two females and a male, when we had only a single female last year. They seemed to like the blackberry lilies, candy lilies and the hummer feeders I had out.

Hobart, IN

Not as may butterflies here this summer but plenty of bees and dragonflies. Caryopteris 'Sunshine Blue' is really attractive to bees right now. The JB numbers were down from last year but I cut down their hard-to-access main target as an experiment. I do think the winter had something to do with it though. Still have 3 hummers. I think these are juveniles as parents should have already departed by now. Two of the hummers have been here all summer but a third joined them a few weeks ago. They're getting visibly chubby due to the feeders (which I replenish every week) and growing more annual flowers. I'm thinking they're due to depart the first week of Oct.

(Chris), IA(Zone 5a)

We did wind up getting some JB, but was able to keep them under control by putting them in soapy water, so that was nice.

Tons of bees here, including honeybees! They were going nuts on our Russian Sage and now on the Sedum "Autumn Joy". Good to see them :)

Hummers are around still here in Iowa, but not as many as last year. I figure they'll be leaving within a week at the most :(

Orioles are long gone, but we had a blast watching them bring their babies to the grape jelly! It was our first year of having Baltimore orioles - hope to have more next year.

Hobart, IN

I would love to see more orioles here. We have a lot of oaks in our yard which probably isn't as attractive to them. We get a few in the spring, attracted by the hummingbird feeders we put out, and see one occasionally through the summer. Did buy one oriole feeder but don't think it was the best design for them as the birds were too big to use it comfortably.

Effingham, SC(Zone 8a)

Had an oriole feeder here, too. The hummers loved them as it had perches, but then it starded to artact yellow jackets, so took it down. The hummers can use the hummingbird feeders, but the wasps can't, wo they moved on, thank goodness ----- I'm allergic to wasp stings.

Hobart, IN

All of my HB feeders have perches and it was kinda funny to see the orioles try to use them.
We have a yellow jacket nest under the bushes right outside my livingroom window. Heard that they never use the same nest twice and the queen will move on. Still trying to build up the nerve to spray them though. Even have the stuff to spray them with.

Bensenville, IL(Zone 5a)

One thing I've noticed this fall is the sparse fruit set on my Adams crabapples. Normally they are loaded with crapapples which make a great display that lasts all winter (the birds don't touch the fruit). The spring flowering was the same so lack of pollinators due to our horrendous winter is the most likely cause. I did notice I had very few bees in my garden until early summer. Did anyone else experience anything similar?

Hobart, IN

I had plenty of pollinators of all types and sizes but I usually don't get the traditional honey bees. Flowering on our crab apple was sparse and late and I usually don't pay attention to the pollinators on it. I did have my usual early bumble bees like always. And if I do get crab apples, the squirrels perform dare-devil antics to get them. The larger birds also like them. I do have (bumble?) bees all over still-flowering shrubs - they're out early - like 7am - even with the chilly mornings and don't leave til almost dark. Don't have a lot of other things of interest to bees blooming right now except maybe squash plants for the very small pollinators.

(Chris), IA(Zone 5a)

Our orioles were not interested in the nectar at all - what brought them back was the grape jelly :) We used three or four 32 ounce jars over the summer (which isn't much compared to others, I know; but this being our first year of feeding them, I was quite happy with that amount!) - course we discovered that the house finches loved it too! I didn't know that before :)

Hobart, IN

Thanks, Dragonfly! I think I see a winter project coming on. I have enough shepherd hooks to use so that the squirrels don't get to the feeder. BTW, we have found that Slinkies make shepherd hooks and pole feeders absolutely squirrel-proof. 'Course, that was after we spent $$$ on a bird feeder that can give squirrels a minor shock.

Effingham, SC(Zone 8a)

There is a small farm nearby that has bee hives and they sell the honey, so probably have a lot of bees because of that. I'm certain others have hives as well locally, but know of that one for certain.

Hobart, IN

Sounds like the local hives would be beneficial to you if you wanted to grow fruit trees or a vegetable garden.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I just found this thread.

I have been having a billion bumble bees. They are everywhere - still, morning and evening. So I can't use even spinosad to help me with chewers, since I was actually seeing bees at 7 or 8 in the evening. They particularly like my eupatorium, my roses, verbena b and various salvias. I really like those guys. I can prune right next to them and they just go about their business. The other day I was in my laundry room and heard a loud buzzing noise. One was in the room. I knew that if I didn't get the little guy outside he would die. So when he landed on my washing machine I got a paper towel and gentle scooped him up and put the paper towel on my garbage can so he could fly away. What I didn't realize was that he got stuck in the textured towel - when I checked on him about half an hour later the towel was on the ground and he was still attached to it. So I took the tip of a key and gently disengaged him. He walked onto my key ring, quite content. So I took him over to a rose with lots of pollen on it, and he walked off my key ring onto the the flower, and a minute later, flew away.

I know it sounds nutty, but I got such pleasure from rescuing my bumble bee.

I also had large numbers of ground dwelling bees. I have them every year. They are not aggressive with me (I have accidently walked over their hives more than once) but they sting dogs that come near their hives. One dog owner told me that her dog won't come near my property. That explains why I have only had one experience with dog poop in the last two years.

Indeed, the bee is a friend!

I got only a fraction of the JB's that I normally do. I have 30 roses and numerous raspberry plants - at least 40. Damage was minimal. My guess would be that I offed about 50 JBs all season. Normally that would be the total for less than a week.

A really good year all round.

Hobart, IN

Did notice that there weren't as many butterflies this summer but ample dragonflies. And haven't seen hardly any ladybugs on the south side of the house. Maybe it's too early for them to be looking for a warm winter getaway.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I almost jumped up and down when I finally saw a Tiger and an Admiral. But I only saw one of each. Their numbers of have been down quite a bit. I started growing things that always attracted them before.

A storm smashed my southfacing storm window and a number of ladybugs turned up while I had it repaired but not nearly as many as I would have expected.

Effingham, SC(Zone 8a)

My SO has noticed a rather large number of Lady Bugs on our sliding screen door during the day while working in the basement - we have a business down there as well as runs for the dogs. As with the Dragonflies, are there are larger than usual # this year? Not complaining as they eat the less wanted bugs, but didn't have them as numerous last year.

Hobart, IN

Have had a nice number of dragonflies the past couple of years. Ladybugs finally showed up yesterday on the sunny garage door. Had been wondering when they were going to show up.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I have seen a very few ladybugs ,, I still have Bees !
A praying mantis or two about the place recently .
Lots of Spiders ,,

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

The ladybugs have turned in en masse here. I have to keep the windows closed. But it's good to see them.

I alway want to ask them why they never turn up in the spring to eat the aphids? They really need to work on their timing.

Hobart, IN

It did seem like we had a lot of spiders as well, showing up in late summer. Bee numbers are dwindling, perhaps because it's been rainy. We've been more focused on the yellow jacket nest in the front yard.
I normally don't see many aphids here (maybe because the LBs are here, just not in plain site?) but I did notice them on the growing tip of a rose several weeks ago. I just brushed them off by hand.

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