OREGON -- This year's dry and warm winter could mean a challenging spring and summer battling insect pests and plant disease. Typically, Oregon has a cool/wet winter and early spring, and that normally works to keep the pest population in check. Rose Kachadoorian of the Oregon Department of Agrigculture's Pesticide Program says, not this year. "So, what could possibly happen in a drought year is you end up with more pest problems because you have these pests rapidly developing and could have a plant that is stressed."
Kachadoorian says one way to deal with potential problems is to buy more plants. "Take a look at some that are more drought tolerant. If you we know we are going into a year that might be hot and dry, just buy plants that aren't going to have pest problems, that aren't going to be so stressed under hot and dry temperatures, so they don't get the pest problems in teh first place.
Likely, this year will be filled with aphids, whiteflies, mites and fleas. Although, dry conditions mean one not expected to be a problem: Slugs.