Author Archives: janet.hurley

Be on the lookout for armyworms

Be on the alert for fall armyworms this fall. Higher-than-normal populations of this lawn-eating insect have been reported from many areas in Texas this past summer and we have started to see them in San Antonio and Austin areas. While fall armyworms are nothing new, according to Wizzie Brown, Extension Program Specialist for IPM in Austin, these worms started appearing in home lawns in late July to early August. Usually, infestations take place in late summer or early fall, but the weather can play a big part. The… Read More →

Bugged by Bugs we want to hear from you.

Has this year had you bugged by bugs? Like many of you even those of us who work in entomology, pest control, school maintenance, or live somewhere in Texas you have seen your fair share of insect pests this year. If you have seen more pests around your home and you have treated for those pesky pests, we would love to hear from you. This short survey we created with funding from USDA NIFA wants to know what you have seen, and if you treated for the pest… Read More →

‘Bugs by the Yard’ and ‘Unwanted Guests’ cover Texas insects and pests

These two bug-based podcasts launched by Texas A&M AgriLife experts allows you to learn on the “fly” by enjoying a podcast on your time schedule.  Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts have launched two new podcast series: “Bugs by the Yard,” which covers insects found in Texas yards and gardens, and “Unwanted Guests,” which covers insects and other pests in homes and buildings. “It started with a podcast where Dr. Erfan Vafaie, AgriLife Extension integrated pest management specialist in Overton, was interviewing other entomologists,” said Wizzie Brown, AgriLife Extension… Read More →

Fascinating facts about wasps, hornets: How to get along with these beneficial bugs

Murder hornets may make the headlines because of their frightening name, but they are not in Texas. So, let’s talk about wasps and hornets and precautions you can take to avoid stings. All wasps and hornets are beneficial, said Wizzie Brown, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist, Austin. Homeowners can appreciate that they protect gardens and landscapes from pests like caterpillars, spiders and aphids and pollinate blooming plants, but a sudden sting can erase that goodwill quickly. Brown said wasps and hornets are focused on building nests and rearing young in… Read More →

The Native Mason Bee

Want to take steps to support a locally found, native pollinating insect? Consider the Mason bee With national pollinator week approaching later this month, it is important to recognize the variety of pollinators that exist in addition to Honey bees. For those who want to take steps to support a locally found, native pollinating insect, consider the Mason bee. Mason bees are major pollinators of orchards and some commercial crops, but you can sometimes find them buzzing around a backyard garden. All told, there are 140 species of… Read More →

Mosquito populations booming after rains: Three varieties to worry about, control and repel

That familiar buzz and bite are signs that mosquito season in Texas is here, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife entomologist. Sonja Swiger, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist and associate professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Entomology, Stephenville, said biting mosquitoes are a seasons-long problem that often changes based on the environment. Which species are present and whether mosquitoes are an annoyance or vectors for diseases likely depends on those conditions, she said. Similarly, the temperature, availability of water and type of water available, such… Read More →

Getting the Bugs Out: Bed Bug Training 2020

IPM Experience House: Getting the Bugs Out: Bed Bug Training 2020 is here to help you understand this old but new foe the “Bed Bug.” Long-time bed bug specialist for ABC Home and Commercial Services, Alan Brown, Staff Entomologist/ Department Manager will be providing his insights into best practices for bed bug control. In  addition to classroom training on the finer points of the “modern bed bug,” the class will get hands on experience with inspecting, treating using heat and other methods and developing practical and effective follow-up… Read More →

2020 Fall IPM Virtual Conference

For anyone who needs structural or ag CEU credits in turf and ornamental pest management, 2020 Fall IPM Conference registration is now open, and we are going virtual. We understand this year has been a challenge and getting your CEU credits is still required, so like everything else there is a Zoom meeting for that. Never Fear AgriLife Extension is Here. You can trust us to have speakers that will help keep you engaged and teach you a thing or two. When: Wednesday, November 18, 2020 – Zoom… Read More →

Dr. Mike Merchant Retires After 30+ Years with Extension

The Department of Entomology and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service celebrated the retirement of a longtime professor and Extension Entomologist during a virtual celebration held on August 7. Merchant, a Professor and Extension Entomologist in Dallas, will be retiring on August 31. He has been with Extension for more than 30 years when he joined as an Urban Entomologist in the District 4 offices located in the Dallas area. His career highlights started in 1993 when Merchant was named Chair of the statewide School IPM Advisory Committee. As… Read More →