It’s officially spring….crane flies are out

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What goes hand in hand with spring in Central Texas? ….well…. the smell of grape sweet tarts from mountain laurels blooming, pink buds on Red bud trees, and the sight of my dog jumping around trying to capture crane flies in the backyard. Crane flies are a harmless insect that can sometimes become a nuisance when they come into the house.  Crane flies spend the majority of their life as larvae in damp locations- think edges of ponds, streams, wet logs, etc.  They only live a few days… Read More →

Name a cockroach for Valentine’s Day

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What do you get a beau who loves cockroaches?  Why, you name a cockroach for them! The Bronx Zoo has various packages available staring at $15 for a basic naming of a cockroach and going up to $75 for a package that includes naming a roach, a cockroach pin, cockroach chocolate candies, and cockroach socks!  For those of you who do not know me well, a fun fact is that I LOVE weird socks (today I’m wearing Tacosaurus socks) and when I saw the cockroach socks it was… Read More →

2018 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series- FREE!

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The 2018 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series kicks off Friday, February 2nd  at 1 pm CST! Our speaker, Norm Haley,  from Alabama Extension, will be will be discussing “Feral Hogs, Ecology, and Control”.  The webinar will be recorded, so you can watch it any time.  To watch a webinar, just log in as a guest 15 minutes before the webinar begins. Please share this with anyone who might be interested. You can find the login information below. Thank you for supporting our program and we hope you listen… Read More →

Austin 7th Annual Beekeeping Seminar

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When:        Jan. 27, 2018  Who:           Austin Area Beekeepers Association Where:       Norris Conference Centers, 2525 W Anderson Ln #365, Austin, TX 78757 Cost:          $60   Register at:  https://aabaseminar2018.eventbrite.com Why: The mission of this daylong seminar is to educate people of all experience levels in sustainable science-based bee husbandry and to provide support to worthy bee charities. The lion’s share of the proceeds are donated to the Texas A&M Honey Bee Lab, the Texas Beekeepers Association Queen’s Program, the Texas Master Beekeeping Program and other bee charities.    Description: This is a daylong seminar offering 5 different educational presentations… Read More →

2017 Holiday Gift Wish List

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Ready for the 2017 arthropod gift idea list?  Hopefully I’ve found something for every discerning person on your gift list. Not only are these spider slippers adorable, but they will also keep your toes toasty on those chilly winter evenings.             If those slippers are a bit too cutesy for you, then you can try these classier Jimmy Choo Sloane scarab slippers.  Unfortunately (or fortunately based upon your budget), these are currently sold out.         For the more intellectual person on your gift… Read More →

Free Webinar Today- Don’t Let Bed Bugs Hamper Your Vacation Plans

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What: “All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series” When: Friday , December 1st at 1:00 pm CST Who: Alan Brown,  from ABC Home & Commercial Services in Austin, TX,  Topic: “Don’t Let Bed Bugs Hamper Your Vacation Plans”.  This will be great information as many of us get ready to travel for the holidays. The link to the live webinar is here: https://extension.zoom.us/j/885968890 Details: The webinar will be recorded, so you can watch it any time.  To watch a webinar, just log in as a guest 15 minutes before the… Read More →

Thanksgiving dinner conversation….

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As we gear up for Turkey Day next week, I thought I would pop a bit of knowledge into the back of your brain that you can share with dinner companions. As you sit at the dinner table with your group, you can casually say “Did you know that there are allowable amounts of insects in our food?” “No!” your companions will gasp. “Yes!” you will insist.  “I learned about it on this really great blog I read.  You should subscribe to it!” So, if you don’t believe… Read More →

Green lynx spiders

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Today our Travis County Master Gardener volunteers were working in our demonstration garden to tidy things up.  I always love when they come out as I get to interact with them directly with hands-on teaching moments.  Today, I was not disappointed.  One of them came in to see if I could tell them about a spider she found.  You can look at the title to figure out what it was…. Green lynx spiders are large, bright green spiders with slightly elongated abdomens and spiny legs.  They are usually found on… Read More →

Asp a.k.a. puss caterpillars

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These have been a hot news item lately in Central Texas.  I did a news interview & Facebook Live broadcast yesterday to talk about them. While these teardrop shaped caterpillars look soft and touchable, they are NOT! Asps have spines attached to venom glands that can lead to a nasty sting, rash, and other issues. Some people may have a more severe reaction than others and where you are stung (thickness of the skin) can effect things. You can read my previous post on asps HERE. KVUE story… Read More →

Glowing scorpions

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Tuesday evening, I had the opportunity to attend KLRU‘s Next Nights.  Since it’s October, they wanted some “spooky” things, so I headed over with the menagerie of arthropods.  Unknown to me until about half way through the event, the night was to showcase Strange Town, KLRU’s show on paranormal adventures.  Apparently, the location of the event is haunted!  To fit in with the paranormal/ haunting theme, the event was lighted appropriately, but fortunately we had flashlights to highlight things that were a bit difficult to see with the… Read More →