The year uninvited guests failed to come to dinner

Putnam County, New York:

I’ve long known that every few years there’s a season where weather conditions wipe out major insect pests of fruit, but I’ve never seen such a lack of all forms of fruit pests coming into mid-July like this year. I’ve just come back from the edges of my nursery next to the woods and unsprayed E. plums and nectarines have almost no scars at all. I harvested several Silver Gem nectarines and trees out in the open had some dead ripe ones without any signs of brown rot- all without spray.

We’ve been having monsoon type rains for the last 3 weeks and brown rot is only starting to destroy fruit in trees that haven’t seen any fungicide. The ones with it tend to be crowded by others and not getting perfect light or air movement or have unremoved over-ripe fruit.

No raccoons, possums, squirrels or birds have touched dead ripe fruit either. Never have I gone into summer without having a large populations of chipmunks, even if they were scarce in spring, but I’m not seeing any at all on my property this year. It’s almost spooky.

I’m not superstitious or I’d fear this little topic might jinx me.


Sounds like you are setting yourself up for a rough fall :wink:



All pests and diseases are much higher than ever before here. Japanese beetles, fireblight, pc etc.

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We had an exyremely mild winter and we’ve got more insects than ever before and a few completely new ones


The only constant here is that it is going to be something else.

I remember years when yellow jackets where just endemic; you would walk outside and there were dozens just frolicking in the grass and many more buzzing around. The next year there were barely any. This year is normal.

Last year the sawfly larvae really went to town everywhere. In the forest floor wild currants and high bush cranberries (Viburnum edule, not a cranberry) can be hard to spot apart, last year it was easy as it was every single plant that was completely defoliated by their larva. This year I’m not seeing that.

Last year for the first time I saw ants farming aphids on two apple trees, not this year.

Inch worms have been more active than usual on some haskaps but full size plants put enough foliage where that doesn’t do much.


Far fewer pests for me this year too in the PNW. I was just thinking how strange it is to not see a single vole hole in the garden, no SWD damage on the cherries, no apple maggots or codling moth (yet), and almost zero aphids or caterpillars. Great year for snakes and birds and predatory bugs, but there’s something else going on too, like a weird but fortunate (?) convergence of factors.


The nursery I work at in Wisconsin produces apple trees in #10 containers. We do not spray them. This year is the first time I find no first generation coddling moth damage on the fruit… Normally the damage shows up around July 4th. I cannot find a damaged apple on any of the unsprayed trees. Lots of curculio damage but no coddling moth damage (yet).