Mosquito and mosquito disease information

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I know there has been a LOT of talk and information about mosquitoes and diseases they transmit, but I want to gather a bunch of information (from reputable sources) for you to use in case you need it.  So instead of remaking the wheel here, I will be linking to other good sources of information for you to check out. Mike Merchant’s post on Zika virus & NEW PUBLICATIONS FOR TEXANS! Mike Merchant’s post on do-it-yourself thermal fogging for mosquitoes AgriLife’s Mosquitoes of Texas page City of Austin… Read More →

Hi! Remember me? West Nile Virus

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With all the media attention on Zika lately, not many people are discussing (or are concerned with) West Nile Virus.  This disease is still around and may become a concern later this summer due to the hot, dry conditions we are currently experiencing in Central Texas. Cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) are generally seen in summer and increase throughout summer and into fall.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, most people (70-80%) that become infected with WNV show no symptoms.  About 1 in 5 people develop a… Read More →

House flies

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Instead of complaining about all the rain we’re getting, should we all switch to complaining about how HOT it is? Warmer temperatures speed up development time of insects.  This means that they can reproduce and offspring reach adulthood faster allowing them to produce their offspring  which will reach adulthood rapidly and so on.  Do you see how this can cause pest problems? The insect I’m focusing on today is the house fly. Why this particular insect?  Well, they are the ones that currently drive me crazy when I’m… Read More →

Aphids

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It seems that the cooler weather and moisture have disappeared and we’ve moved into sweltering temperatures. While it will be nice to dry out a bit, expect pest populations to be on the rise.  One to watch for is aphids as their populations can increase rapidly. Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects with “tailpipes” (better known as cornicles) coming off the tip of the abdomen.  Aphids come in a variety of colors and may or may not have wings.  They have an incomplete life cycle (egg- nymph- adult) with… Read More →

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 →