A quick update on European Crane Fly and the European Fire Ant.
MDI seems to be a hotbed of these invasive insects. It seems that they have been brought in through plantings from other states. We will continue to keep our eye on these insects as it relates to your properties and your families safety. European Fire Ants have a bite with venom. It is not something you want to happen to you or your children or pets. It is the only ant that causes a raised area and turns into a pustule after a day or two. The sting will also burn. These ants are high in populations and will attack if disturbed too much. Since they are very small in size you may not notice them at first glance. They have been on MDI for several years now and are now moving outward. We have a few cases now in the Ellsworth area.
The European Crane Fly causes issues in its larval state. Unlike the Fire Ant, the Crane Fly causes no threat to humans. However, they are particularly destructive to your turf grass. Much like the (European Chafer, Japanese Beetle & May June Beetle) grubs, the European Crane fly larvae destroys the roots as they eat. You’ll see damage from the larvae in the springtime and you may also see birds coming in to eat them out of the lawn as well. If these insects explode in our areas then we’ll be faced with yet another challenge for control. We’ll keep you posted as necessary. For now here are some photos of both European Crane Fly and European Fire Ant.
Please if you notice any of these insects call us! We are working with the Cooperative Extension Service in tracking movements in our state.