Category Archives: Household pests

Posts on insect pests of structures.

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

Ag News Contact: Cary Sims: 936.634.6414 | cw-sims@tamu.edu 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 →

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 →

Are ladybugs harmful? Annual swarms, home invasion raise questions about native, Asian beetles

The annual ladybug invasion appears to be in motion. Reports of ladybird beetles, commonly known as ladybugs, invading homes and structures across the southern U.S. have raised questions and concerns. According to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert, ladybugs are definitely a friend, but sometimes even friends can wear out their welcome. Wizzie Brown, AgriLife Extension integrated pest management specialist, Austin, said the increased sightings of ladybugs inside homes and structures are related to colder temperatures. They are crawling through cracks and crevices around the home to find warm, dry… 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 →

Kudzu bug in Texas

Last week Texas became the fourteenth state with verified populations of kudzu bug.  An alert county Extension agent, Kim Benton, reported kudzu bugs from a home garden in Rusk, TX, south of Tyler. The bugs were clustered on eggplant and other vegetables before being transplanted into the garden. The kudzu bug saga in the U.S. began in October 2009 when millions of small, pill-like bugs startled homeowners across nine counties in northeast Georgia. The never-before-seen insects covered the sides of homes by the thousands, and concerned citizens began… Read More →

Multiplying millipedes

At first glance, millipedes are most remarkable for their ability to walk without tripping over their own feet.  The name millipede literally means “thousand feet” and though most don’t have that many legs, that’s still a lot of feet to keep track of. What’s even more remarkable about millipedes, once you get to know them, is their ability to reach astronomical numbers when weather conditions are prime. That’s what’s happening right now, at least in parts of north and east Texas.  For the past month Extension offices have… Read More →

Avoid bringing bed bugs home

The fear of picking up bed bugs in a hotel room shouldn’t keep you from that next great adventure you’ve been planning.  Yes, frequent travelers do have a good chance of eventually encountering bed bugs; but a few simple steps can dramatically reduce your risk of bringing these pesky insects home. To learn more, check out this new video, produced by my colleague Dr. Pat Porter, that explains what you can do to avoid the curse of the bed bug.  And enjoy that next vacation to New York… Read More →

Bug bombs bomb

For many years the go-to solution for DIY pest control was the bug bomb.  Got fleas? Get yourself a bug bomb.  Cockroaches in the kitchen?  Bug bomb! Most recently, it’s bed bugs.  See a bed bug? Reach for the bug bomb. But do bug bombs (also known as total release aerosols) really work?  Not very well according to a recent paper was published last month in the Open Access journal BMC Public Health.  Researchers at North Carolina State University found that not only did bug bombs under-perform (not even… Read More →

When ants invade

It’s ant season, and garden centers around Texas are swarming with folks looking for a quick solution to ant invasions. Ants have been the bane of humankind since before the first picnic. But who could imagine how much misery and anger a tiny little insect like an ant could produce? But of course it’s never just one ant that’s the problem.  As I was recently reminded, one ant can quickly turn into dozens on the floor, on counter-tops and in the bathroom. My wife and I experienced that… Read More →