Author Archives: wizzie.brown

About wizzie.brown

Wizzie Brown is an Extension Program Specialist- IPM with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Walnut caterpillars

An outbreak of walnut caterpillars has recently been reported in Fort Bend county.  These caterpillars can be found on pecan, walnut, and hickory as well as oak, willow and various woody shrubs. Walnut caterpillars have chewing mouthparts and can defoliate trees. Walnut caterpillars live together in a group after hatching out of the eggs. As they grow, they are reddish-brown and become covered with long, white hairs. Larger larvae are covered in white hair and can grow up to 2 inches long. The way damage appears depends upon… Read More →

Stink bugs- have you seen me?

Yesterday as I was perusing the demo garden outside the office for insects (it’s how I take a break…) when I came across a plethora of stink bugs.  There were adults. There were nymphs. There were even eggs!  I took photos and planned on using them for some future endeavor at the time unknown to me when….. ….today seems to be the time for the photos.  I received an email this morning asking what the bug was that I had discovered in such high numbers yesterday.  I am… Read More →

Spittlebugs

I’m sure that you’ve seen spittlebugs somewhere recently.  They seem to be everywhere this spring.  When I was little, I remember walking through the fields by our house and the plants would be covered with spittlebugs.  My mom would tell me that it was frog spit and if I touched it I would get warts.  So how do you test a hypothesis?  You experiment. This led me to the aforementioned fields covered with “spit”.  Imagine my delight and surprise when I discovered an insect buried in the middle… Read More →

2017 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Ticks

When: Friday, May 5th, 1:00PM CDT Where: online https://extension.zoom.us/j/332261879 In this webinar, Dr. Thomas Mather, Professor, University of Rhode Island,  (aka “the tick guy”) will talk about an important arachnid, ticks.  Ticks that you do and don’t see as well as how to protect yourself, your family, and your pets will be discussed.  Moderated by Ellen Huckabay and Bethany O’Rear, Regional Extension Agents, Alabama Extension. Click here to login as a guest and participate in the live event.   Note: on May 5th, the link to the live webinar opens… Read More →

NatureFest 2017

Come see me today!  

2017 East Austin Garden Fair

It’s that time of year for everyone’s favorite garden fair!  Come join us for the fun! When: Saturday, April 8, 2017 from 9AM- 2PM Where: Parque Zaragosa Recreation Center- 2608 Gonzales Street Austin, TX Cost: FREE!! Free and open to the public, this fun, hands-on fair involves community members in creative, low-cost ways to grow vegetables, herbs and fruit to improve the family diet as well as information about Earth-Kind landscaping. Travis County Master Gardeners offer University-based information to fairgoers on a diverse variety of horticulture topics, while… Read More →

Yucca plant bugs

Do you have yucca planted in your landscape?  Have you checked it lately for pest problems?  I know that it seems early to start checking for pests but I walked past the yucca at the office this week and it is covered with yucca plant bugs already. Yucca plant bugs are in the order Hemiptera and are related to other sucking pests such as stink bugs and leaf-footed bugs, but are much smaller.  Adult yucca plant bugs have a bright reddish-orange head and thorax with dark bluish-black wings…. Read More →

FREE Webinar series- 2017 All Bugs Good & Bad

The 2017 webinar series All Bugs Good and Bad starts today (Friday, February 3, 2017). Please join us for this webinar series for information you can use about good and bad insects.  We used your feedback to bring topics that you suggested for 2017.   We will discuss troublesome insects such as invasive ants, landscape pests, vegetable pests, and house dwellers as well as arachnids too.  Not all insects are bad, though, come and meet some of our native pollinators!  The series kicks off today with “Don’t let tramp… Read More →

Why entomology? Why study bugs?

I often get the questions of today’s topic posed to me when I meet people.  Why did you go into entomology?  How did you decide to work with bugs? It all started when I was a kid.  I loved insects.  I have various memories throughout my childhood that pointed to my future career as an entomologist, but I didn’t know at the time that I could work with insects and get paid for it. In 5th grade, we were assigned to research and write a report on the… Read More →

It’s freezing outside. Why are all the insects not dead?

So as I sit in my cozy office (with my sweater, scarf, fingerless gloves, and heater) I consider the poor insects that are having to deal with the drastic flip-flopping of the weather the past few weeks.  We’ve seen temperatures in the 20’s and temperatures in the 80’s, so I’m sure that they are a bit confused.  I was asked last week when it was warm how the mosquitoes came back so quickly if they died when it was freezing.  Well……. Insects have certain adaptations that allow them… Read More →