Record Rainfall Causing Bug Infestations And Trees To Topple
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Record rainfall is causing plenty of new problems– from unwanted growths in your front yard to an exploding population of bugs.
Weijia Jiang explains the issues and what you can do about them.
It may be nice out, but there are still so many problems–bizarre mushrooms, an invasion of pests and even more downed trees. Experts dealing with each of those all say the same thing– blame it on the rain.
The wettest September on record led to destructive flooding and made getting around a pain.
But the conditions are near perfect for these to grow– funny-looking fungi, popping up in backyards, gardens, fields– just about everywhere, startling many.
“They’re seeing things they haven’t seen before,” said Dr. David Clement, a University of Maryland plant pathologist.
Clement gave us a close look at the mushrooms– some big like saucers, some tiny, some slimy, most worrisome. Some are even poisonous.
He says folks might consider the spores an eye-sore, but they are important.
“Fungi get a bad rap,” Clement explained. “Everybody thinks fungi are bad, they always cause problems and diseases in plants, and in reality there’s an awful lot that are beneficial.”
The rain has also done some damage, too. So far this month, we’ve had more than 13 inches– nearly 10 inches more than normal– leaving the ground oversaturated, and root systems weak.
Tree removal businesses can barely keep up.
“It gets soft, and any shift in the tree from the wind or the tree’s own weight makes it so much easier to pull out of the ground,” John Pinnock of Community Tree Experts said.
And when trees topple, pests underneath find their way above ground. Exterminators are swamped, too. Mosquitoes, spiders and ants are among the many bugs the water has pushed up.
“It’s just like us, when it’s raining heavy we look for shelter,” said Frank Simms of Q Pest Control. “Bugs look for shelter inside or underneath homes.”
So just when you thought signs of the historic storms were going away, reminders are prominent. With so much water stored up, experts say it’s hard to tell for how much longer.
Researchers say you can handle those mushrooms with your hands as long as you wash them afterwards. But whatever you do, do not eat them because they can be deadly. They should go away on their own when cooler temperatures settle in.