Weather forecasts are crazy good now. Also, a little arrogant. Accuweather just cheerfully offered up the information that two months from today will be overcast and cool, with a possible afternoon thundershower. There’s a lot you can find out. I can check the forecast on a minute-to-minute basis. I also like checking out weather in other places, which is how I discovered a San Francisco forecast for “aggressive morning drizzle.” People think our own common winter prediction of “sun breaks” is funny. There’s a pollen count. A mold index. There’s–what’s this? An outdoor pest forecast and an indoor pest forecast? Really?

Unless the Indoor Pest Forecast reads “moderate to high until the first day of school,” this makes no sense to me. Can they see my ant invasions from space now? I can’t bring myself to rule it out.
But it turns out they are making predictions based on such things as temperature and humidity and other factors that either favor certain pests or don’t. Myself, I’ve never been able to associate any particular thing with when the ants go marching in. I think it’s random. Depends on any given scout ant’s perambulations and his personal degree of ant charisma.
As far as I’m concerned, if this is a measure of humidity and temperature and wind speed, you might just as well call it an Irascibility Index.
Indoor, but not a pest

The Indoor Pest Forecast became less of a mystery with the following notice: “The weather is favorable for a moderate level of indoor pest activity such as ants and cockroaches. Plan insect control products accordingly.” At the bottom of the forecast in small letters it says “In partnership with SCJohnson and RAID.” I guess you read the forecast to know when to line up your sprays and bombs. Otherwise they can stay under the sink and threaten visiting children. 

And the Outside Pest Forecast? That would make a lot of sense in Maine, where the vermin are unionized and punctual. In Maine, my sister used to get phone calls from her friends who lived 45 minutes away. (Everyone in Maine lives 45 minutes away from everyone else.) “Ayuh, black flies are in,” they’d say. “Should be up your way by Thursday.” Which means the Maine forecasters could use that hourly deal. 3pm, mosquito arrival in Waterville. Tomorrow, cloudy with a chance of Lyme ticks. Sunday morning, midges depart Brunswick for Deer Isle.
My collard greens

But that’s mostly not what an outside pest forecast is about. There’s a forecast for corn rootworm, black cutworm, corn earworm, alfalfa weevil, soybean aphid, and Western bean cutworm. There is a cucurbit downy mildew forecast. A Fusarium Head Blight prediction center. This is important for farmers looking to economize on poison purchases. I scan through these data bits with mild, but not personal concern, the way I read about monsoons in the Philippines or tornadoes in a trailer park. Until I came across the Blueberry Maggot.

There’s a blueberry maggot?
Get SCJohnson on the line. My irascibility index is spiking.