Mosquito Training Workshops Hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

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This Workshop is designed to train Personnel in cities and municipalities that are in the field of mosquito abatement or are working on setting up a mosquito control program. The workshop will educate personnel on mosquito biology, ecology, control tactics, trap use, surveillance, virus testing and mosquito control.  In addition, there will be an overview of licensing and permits needed Texas Department of State Health Services will be presenting information on the vector borne diseases, zoonotic virus testing and the West Nile virus outbreak of 2012. All workshops will… Read More →

Will Texans Soon Kiss Their Ash Goodbye?

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Texans, be on the lookout for an invasive beetle to ash trees: The Emerald Ash Borer. The Emerald Ash Borer has recently been found just outside our doorsteps in Colorado in late 2013.  In fact, the Emerald Ash Borer may very well already be in Texas, as most experts believe there may be as many as three years time between introduction and detection! Emerald Ash Borers lay their eggs in the crevices of the bark of the Ash and the larvae hatch and burrow into the outer sapwood of the Ash… Read More →

Homeless insects and energy audits

Paper wasps commonly seek shelter in homes following the first freeze.

When cold weather comes knocking, it should be no surprise that hundreds, or even thousands, of insects may be waiting for you to open the door this fall.  It’s not like you can really blame them.  They are just temporarily homeless critters looking for a warm place to spend the winter. I was staying at a hotel this week in Austin for the Entomological Society of America’s annual meeting, and on my 23rd floor window I looked out and saw dozens of hackberry nipple-gall maker insects on the… Read More →

Urban Pest News By Wizzie Brown

Millipede image taken by Joseph Berger, University of GA, Bugwood

Fall Fire Ant Treatments Red imported fire ants build large, dome-shaped mounds that can contain over 200,000 ants. Mounds are typically built in open, sunny areas such as lawns and gardens, but can often also be found next to tree trunks, sidewalks and structural foundations. After heavy rain, mounds pop up when ants try to avoid the water-saturated soil. Fire ants are known to protect their mound in a very aggressive manner. When the mound is disturbed, workers rush out in large numbers, climb quickly up the object… Read More →

What’s Buggin’ Ya – Fall 2013 – Molly Keck

Cabbage Loopers in various instars (sizes)
Photo by: Molly Keck

GREEN JUNE BUG SWARMS No, they are not Japanese Beetle or the beetles that will eat your turf. We are seeing (or recently did see) a mating swarm of Green June Bugs. These are large beetles, about 1 inch in size, metallic green and very similar in size and shape to regular old brown May Beetles or June Bugs. Green June Bugs are basically harmless. After mating they will be laying their eggs in compost, manure, and other like materials. The larvae can be considered beneficial because they… Read More →

IPM for landscaping

UF IFAS, image of chinch bug damage to a lawn

This month’s Ecological Landscaping Association newsletter has several IPM-centered articles that I thought were worth sharing. Although the ELA is located in Boston, MA, the IPM concepts can be adapted in other regions. Some of the articles worth reading include: Utilizing Biological Pest Management: Managers at a nursery in Oxford, PA explain how they use the principles of integrated pest management to keep pests at a minimum. Sudden Oak Death: This devastating disease has already killed millions of oak trees on the West Coast, but it also affects other landscape plants like… Read More →

Rollins Urban and Structural Entomology Facility honors major benefactor

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With a groundbreaking, naming ceremony and reception, the Texas A&M University’s department of entomology marked the start of construction of their new Rollins Urban and Structural Entomology Facility at College Station. The name was officially approved by the Texas A&M University System’s Board of Regents during their regular business meeting in College Station in time for the naming ceremony and reception held Aug. 9 in the Texas A&M University AgriLife Center on campus. Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, John Sharp, noted, “This unique combination of excellence… Read More →

What’s Buggin’ Ya? Summer Newsletter By Molly Keck

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WHOOLY BEARS You may have noticed some strange, fuzzy caterpillars crawling around your landscape lately. These are called Whooly Bear Caterpillars. There are a couple different color varieties. Some are completely black and others have a reddish stripe down the middle. Whooly Bears are not Asps, as some people call them. They are not poisonous like true Asps or Puss Caterpillars. However, they have urticating hairs that can cause an allergic reaction in some people. These hairs are a defense mechanism against predators. Imagine if you were a… Read More →

Urban Pest News June 2013

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Chinch Bugs Chinch bug damage can be quite common in Texas lawns during hot, dry conditions. Often damage will start sunny locations or near driveways and sidewalk areas. Damage shows up as irregular dead patches in the lawn surrounded by yellowing or dying grass. Chinch bug damage can also be mistaken for other lawn problems such as white grubs or fungal diseases, so confirmation of chinch bug activity is needed before progressing to proper treatment. To determine if turf damage is from chinch bugs, visually inspect the turf…. Read More →

West Nile and Mosquitoes – What to do?

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By mid-September the United States was pushing close to 3,000 cases of West Nile and over 120 deaths, at least 50 of those in Texas. West Nile is a virus that pops up every year in the U.S. as it is endemic to our region. This year, weather conditions (and possible other environmental and nonenvironmental conditions) have increased mosquito populations and transmission of the disease. Now, drought doesn’t exactly make one think that mosquitoes will rise, but when we are in a drought and experience a good rainfall,… Read More →