The Curiosity of Cristobal and the Ensuing Entomological Effects

Bryan Jensen, UW-Madison Dept. of Entomology and Integrated Pest Management Program

Tropical depression Cristobal has made a visit to Wisconsin and I am not sure what impact that might have on migrating insects. At a minimum, there needs to be a source of insects from an area the storm passes over, insects at a life stage that can migrate, surface winds that will help them get airborne and conducive conditions for insects to settle out.

The last time a tropical storm passed through our state was Gilbert, September 1988.  However, it only clipped southern Wisconsin and was too late to have an entomological impact.  Certainly not enough for me to gain any experience.  Before Gilbert, was an unnamed Category 2 hurricane in 1949.  Contrary to popular belief, that was before my time.

All humor aside, keep an eye out for the usual migrating insects like corn earworm, fall armyworm and potato leafhopper and anything that might show up.  I really do not know how this might play out, but it can be complicated and takes more than just winds to transport insects.

The take home message is to keep an eye open. If you see something that is unusual, especially if there are high numbers, reach out for answers.

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