Fun facts about bugs

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I’m feeling a bit blue today, so I thought I would do something a bit lighter.  Here are 10 fun facts about insects! Insects are on every continent except Antarctica. The fear of cockroaches is called Katsaridaphobia. Mexican jumping beans are seed pods that have been inhabited by the larva of a small moth and are native to Mexico. Adult ladybugs will eat more than 50 aphids per day. Throughout history, species of biting ants have been used as sutures to close wounds. Blow flies find dead bodies using body… Read More →

FREE Webinar: calibrating sprayers & spreaders

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The October 2016 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series topic will be: Don’t use too much pesticide or fertilizer – learn how to calibrate your home grounds and garden sprayers and spreaders, presented by Ples Spradley from the University of Arkansas. The webinar is on Oct. 7 beginning at 1 pm Central time (2 pm EDT)   WHEN: Friday, October 7th 1:00 PM (central) WHERE: https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/fireant   Concerns for the preservation of our environment and conservation of resources, as well as the costs associated with pesticides and fertilizers,… Read More →

Have you seen me? Snout butterflies

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If you have driven, biked or walked anywhere in Central Texas recently, you most likely have noticed butterflies fluttering about.  These are not monarchs or swallowtails that we are used to seeing, but snout butterflies.  Unlike the Monarch butterflies that fly through Texas on the way to overwintering locations, these butterflies are moving to new areas in search of new food sources after depleting the food in the area they emerged.  The butterflies are also in search of mates. Snout butterfly caterpillars feed on hackberry trees, while adults… Read More →

Backyard Basics Fall Expo in San Antonio

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Come one, come all!  Bexar County AgriLife Extension is hosting their annual Backyard Basics program, September 17th and would love to see you there!  This gives you the opportunity to hear from a great variety of presenters on topics we’ve heard you want to hear about.  Great door prizes and give always in addition to fantastic speakers.  Please pre-register at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/BexarCounty

Free Seminar on Zika virus & Mosquito Management

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WHAT: Information provided on Zika virus, mosquitoes and their management.   WHERE: 1600 Smith Road, Austin, TX 78721   WHEN: Thursday, September 22nd: 10AM– 12PM   Space is limited so reserve your spot soon! 512-854-9606 or ebrown@ag.tamu.edu

Fleas

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Fleas are ectoparasites and females require a blood meal to produce eggs.  After feeding on a host, females can produce about 30-50 eggs per day that fall off the animal and into carpeting or other areas of the home or outside in areas where the animal frequents.  Larvae feed on organic matter as well as partially digested blood excreted by the adult fleas (yes, I mean poop).  After fleas pupate, they usually hatch out of the cocoon in about 2 weeks, but they can remain dormant for up… Read More →

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 →