Emerald Ash Borer has been found in Texas

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In late April 2016, four emerald ash beetle adults were located in a trap by the Texas A&M Forest Service in Harrison County (near the Louisiana & Arkansas borders).  Currently, there are no confirmed trees infested with emerald ask borer. Emerald ash borer, often shortened to EAB, are invasive beetles that attack stressed and healthy ash trees.  These beetles are native to Asia and were discovered for the first time in the U.S. in Michigan back in 2002.  The beetle has now spread to 26 states and killed… Read More →

Fire Ants are Swarming! Treatment options

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There are numerous ways to manage fire ants, but they are often broken into two categories- broadcast treatments and individual mound treatments.  Individual mound treatments are used to treat one mound at a time and can be labor intensive and may result in more pesticide being spread into the environment.  Broadcast treatments spread product (granular or bait) over a large area. Individual mound treatments include pouring boiling water onto the mound, using insecticide mound drenches, spreading insecticide granules onto the mound and watering them in, sprinkling insecticidal dusts… Read More →

Beetle or true bug?

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Several people have been asking me about “beetle” problems they are having on their plants.  When I finally see the insect it’s not a beetle, but a true bug. So, how do you tell the difference between the two groups? Beetles: Beetles have hardened forewings (the front wings), so they may look as if they have a straight line down their back. Beetles also have chewing mouthparts with mandibles. True bugs: True bugs have their forewings hardened at the base and membranous at the end. This creates a… Read More →

East Austin Garden Fair- tomorrow, Saturday, April 16th

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Come to a great garden fair – Rain or Shine!Saturday – April 16, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm Parque Zaragoza Recreation Center – Gymnasium 2608 Gonzales Street, Austin, TX 78702 Free: Admission, Plants (vegetables & herbs), Garden buckets, Garden books/magazines and soil screening for food gardeners. Easy instructions for soil sampling at http://austintexas.gov/soilkitchen   Visit with friendly gardeners regarding: Bee Keeping, Backyard Chickens, Bugs & Butterfly Gardening Growing Fruit, Citrus, Vegetables & Herbs Preserving Your Harvest & Food Safety Lawns, Turfgrass & Tree Care Drip Irrigation Methods & Rainwater Harvesting… Read More →

Webinar on pollinators

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2016 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Help pollinators cope with pesticides Webinar TODAY! Friday, April 1, 2016 for the All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Help pollinators cope with pesticides   Friday, April 1 at 1:00 pm Central Location: http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/fireant Pollinating insects are at risk when pesticides are used carelessly. Learn practical tips for preventing pollinator deaths from pesticides by Jack Rowe, Dr. James Tew, Sallie Lee, and Dani Carroll from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Moderated by Mallory Kelley, Denise Heubach, and Ellen Huckabay,… Read More →

Mothballs

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I remember walking into my great-grandmother’s house when I was a little girl and there was…well….there was a smell. Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t homemade cookies baking in the oven. I never knew exactly what it was at the time, but years later I discovered that the smell was mothballs. Since the smell of mothballs permeated throughout my great-grandmother’s house, she was not using them in a proper manner. I think many people may not know exactly how to use mothballs properly, hence my writing this particular blog… Read More →

Insects on Mountain Laurel

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The mountain laurels are in bloom in Central Texas.  This is the time of year I walk around and any time I see a mountain laurel I take in a long, deep breath.  I LOVE the smell when mountain laurels are blooming.  It puts me in mind of grape bubble gum. So while I enjoy the scent and beauty of the mountain laurel flowers, some people may be more concerned with insects they are finding on their mountain laurels.  The two common insects that I get questions about… Read More →

Ox beetles

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Have you found a ginormous grub in your compost pile? If so, don’t panic! Grubs are a common name for beetle larvae and these particular rubs become Ox beetles. The larvae look like a typical white grub and have a creamy C-shaped body, reddish head capsule and six legs. The difference is that these grubs look like they’ve been taking steroids and can fill the palm of your hand. Adult beetles are shiny brown and about 2 inches long. Males have horns while females do not. It takes… Read More →

Zika virus

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I thought I would jump on the band wagon and get some information out about Zika virus.  This seems to be the latest and (not the) greatest in the news as of late.  Considering that the first case of local transmission was detected within Texas in the past week, everyone needs to know about this so they can take proper precautions. Zika virus is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes.  Currently, there is no specific treatment for the virus, nor is there a vaccine.  The best way to avoid getting Zika virus is to… Read More →

Boxelder bugs

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During the winter (if you can call the weather we’re having in Texas winter….), people may have the opportunity to see boxelder bugs emerge out of their overwintering sites on warm, sunny days.  As they can show up all of a sudden in somewhat large numbers, it can be startling. Boxelder bugs are dark brownish-black insects with reddish-orange markings around the edges of the thorax and wings.  The bugs are about 1/2 an inch long as an adult.  Nymphs, or immatures, look similar to adults but are smaller… Read More →