Author Archives: bryant.mcdowell

Newsletter – AgriLife Today | Texas tarantula tango: Understanding their annual hunt for food, love

If you see tarantulas moving in greater numbers around Texas, don’t fear … they’re just looking for love. There are 15 tarantula species that can be found around Texas like this one at Big Bend National Park. (Sam Craft/Texas A&M AgriLife) Some folks equate this annual movement of these large, fuzzy arthropods to seasonal migration. But Wizzie Brown, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomology specialist in the Texas A&M Department of Entomology, Travis County, said the mass movement of tarantulas between May and August is not a true migratory event. The… Read More →

Newsletter – Pesticide Labels (Cary Sims, CEA, ANR – Angelina Co.)

Ag News Contact: Cary Sims: 936.634.6414 | Always Read the Label As spring is in full force and we spend more time outside in pastures, gardens, or other green spaces, an observant eye will notice unwanted pests. As is common, our office gets a number of calls and walk-ins about pest problems in the yard, garden, pasture, and other sites. The question is two-fold: what is it and what can I do about it? Once identified there are (typically) a few options on how to control the… Read More →

Pest Alert! White-margined burrower bug

Pest Alert! White-margined burrower bug Within one week, Extension Entomology has received insect identification requests from Districts 8 and 11 for a small, dark insect appearing by the thousands and covering structures and plants. The insect can be present in high numbers in fields, woodlands, lawns, and gardens. This is Sehirus cinctus, the white-margined burrower bug, a true bug that occasionally has outbreak years in parts of Texas. The nymphs (immature stages) have a red and black coloration, and the adults are black with a lighter tint along… Read More →

Clover Mites: Tiny Creatures, Big Impact

I have had a few individuals (homeowners and pest management professionals) reach out to me about infestations of tiny mites that are aggregating on their structures, windowsills, and even seeing them invade indoors! For most of us in Texas, we won’t ever have to battle the army of microscopic mites – known as clover mites, or brown mites. In north Texas, however, this may be a sight we are all too familiar with as the end of winter approaches and temperatures rise. The clover mite, scientifically known as… Read More →

Spring Pests: What to Expect as Temperatures Rise

As the chill of winter fades and temperatures begin to rise, a variety of insect pests start to make their presence known. Environmental factors such as an increase in temperature and the moisture we often see during the spring season will signal over-wintering arthropods to emerge during these favorable times. Here’s a look at some of the common pests you might encounter in and around your home during spring. Ants: Arguably the most notable ant pest in the Texas landscape is the Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA). The… Read More →

March 2023 – Quick updates!

Howdy to our followers! My name is Bryant McDowell. I am the new Extension Program Specialist in Urban Integrated Pest Management located at the Dallas Research and Extension Center. I started my position with AgriLife in September 2022 and spent most of the Fall in new hire training and getting a feel for my new responsibilities. In addition to maintaining this webpage, I will be managing the IPM Experience House located here at the Dallas Center. This training facility is utilized to provide in-depth, hands-on learning opportunities to… Read More →