Tag Archives: AgriLife Extension

Open House November 4, 2022 to Welcome our new Entomologist

It is with much please to announce that we have hired a new entomologist for the Dallas Center.  Mr. Bryant McDowell graduated with his Master of Science in Entomology in 2019 from Texas A&M University.  His thesis: Population genetics and the colony breeding structure of the invasive tawny crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva, in Texas will allow him to help Texans with identifying ants. McDowell’s role as the Extension Program Specialist for Urban IPM will be to support the IPM Experience House by providing training classes for pest management… Read More →

Native bees need love too!

A Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert wants people to better understand and appreciate our native bee pollinators. When people see a bee in their garden, many assume it is a honeybee when, odds are, it is actually a native bee,” said Molly Keck, AgriLife Extension integrated pest management specialist and entomologist, San Antonio. She said, in the simplest of terms, a native bee is usually any bee except a honeybee since honeybees are not native to the Americas. And while bees can look very similar or very… Read More →

Prevent the spread of oak wilt in Texas this spring

All oak trees are susceptible to oak wilt. Texans can do their part to protect oak trees from oak wilt this spring. Oak wilt is one of the deadliest tree diseases in the U.S., killing millions of oaks in 76 counties of Central, North and West Texas, but its impact can be mitigated. Prevention is key to stopping the spread of oak wilt, said Demian Gomez, Texas A&M Forest Service regional forest health coordinator. Any new wound, including from pruning, construction activities, livestock, land or cedar clearing, lawnmowers, string… Read More →

Asian Lady Beetle Invasions

It is that time of year when Asian Lady Beetles make an appearance indoors, and usually in large numbers. While they can be a major nuisance, they shouldn’t cause panic and some simple exclusion practices can help prevent this issue in the future. Asian Lady Beetles are not native to Texas – they were introduced from Asia to the United States in 1960s and 1990s as a UDSA project to help reduce agricultural pests in several Southern and Eastern States from Louisiana to Connecticut.  They are now found… 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 →

Fluffy Moths Flying

You may have noticed a emergence of fluffy black colored moths flying around or flapping around on the ground. I noticed this emergence this morning and have to believe there was something in the weather that has sparked them all to emerge from their pupal cases as adults. These moths are none other than the adult form of those (maybe long forgotten) spiny caterpillars that we all dreaded this spring – the Eastern Buck Moth. Adults are fluffy and are primarily black in color. They have a white… Read More →

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 →