Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Looking for Fun this Spring Break?

If you are looking for something fun for your children over Spring Break, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is hosting our annual Spring Break Nature Camp.  Camp will run March 10-12 (Tuesday through Thursday) from 9am-2pm.

We'll pack the camp full of educational lessons, experiments, crafts, and hands on activities.  This year, we plan to really focus on wildlife, food webs, and ecosystems.  But we'll also learn about herpetology, entomology, and horticulture.  Campers will get the chance to see (and very possibly) touch live insects, millipedes, tarantulas, snakes, and some rescued wildlife.

Registration can be found at http://AgriLifeRegister.tamu.edu/BexarCounty

Monday, November 25, 2019

Lawn looking like a Leopard?

Did the recent frosts leave your lawn looking like this?  Many times damaged lawn is blamed on insects, but most of the time insects aren't to blame at all.

The majority of insect damage to turf seems to happen during summer months, so anything you are seeing to lawns at the moment is probably not caused by insects.

Leopard spots in the lawn right now is due to frost or light freezes.  Portions of your lawn are just in dormancy, but this wasn't evenly distributed throughout, causing a leopard spot type affect.  The common belief is that the temperature isn't uniform throughout the lawn and it cooled down unevenly - perhaps pockets or warm air were found in the live portions, maybe caused by uneven thatch.

Either way, it may look funny for a while, but eventually that lawn should go completely dormant.  Remember, as we get into the colder temperatures, let those lawns go dormant and stop watering!  They will come back in the Spring when they are ready, but it isn't healthy to try to keep the lawn green and watered all year round.

Whatever you do, now is NOT the time to treat for grubs or chinch bugs!  You'll be wasting money and time and placing unnecessary pesticides into the environment.... and you won't kill anything!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Fruit Tree Seminar

You won't want to miss out on this Fruit Tree Seminar, hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.  Who hasn't dreamed of having their own backyard orchard?  Learn from the best experts in the area how to grow things like bananas, peaches or blackberries.  You'll leave knowing the best varieties to purchase, how to properly prune and care for your trees (with a hands on demonstration) and what pests and diseases could ruin your tree fun.

Registration can be found at:

Pre-registration is required and this class will fill up, so register early!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Bugtoberfest Annual Insect Eating Event!

Eating Insects doesn't sound appetizing?!  Get used to it!  It won't be long before insects will be a part of the menu as we continue to look for new ways to feed our ever growing population on decreasing agricultural land.

Texas A&M AgriLife is partnering with the San Antonio Botanical Gardens to again provide a nutritious, delicious, and entertaining insect tasting menu!  Take the edge off with a beer pairing from Blue Star Brewing Co!

We will have tons of youth activities and the entire family is invited to come out and join us!  You do not have to register for the tastings to participate in the youth activities.  Come play with insects, paint with soldier fly larvae, and enjoy the Giant Bugs art display around the Garden!


BUGTOBERFEST Keynote Presentation and Four-course Insect Tasting

October 19 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
$25 per person ($22.50 member) for keynote and tastings; $35 ($31.50 members) for keynote and tastings with drink pairing (21+ years of age with valid ID)
Families can sink their teeth into four chef demonstrated recipes featuring creepy crawlers. Local chefs will enlighten visitors about the sustainability and high protein power of insects. Menu forthcoming, but trust it will be memorable and healthy. Ticketed program features Jonathan Cammack, chief operating officer at EVO Conversion Systems and a Professor of Entomology at Texas A&M University. Dr. Cammack will talk on the modern entomophagy movement or the use of insects as food and feed. Talk begins at 10:00 a.m., tastings begin at 11:00 a.m. All ages welcome. This San Antonio Botanical Garden and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service event is part of the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival and is sponsored by San Antonio Water System.
Register for October 19
Insect Activities | 10:00 – 2:00 p.m. | Included with general admission
Join the San Antonio Botanical Garden and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service for an expedition into entomophagy, the eating of insects as food. Enjoy small bite insect-based food samples and family activities such as cricket races, maggot art, and more.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Bumble Bee or Beetle Swarms??

Have you noticed some large insect swarming around your trees and around the yard?  They may resemble black bumble bees, but they are actually Green June Bugs.

Around this time of year, Green June Bugs tend to have mating swarms.  Some years there are more than others.  Although this is a very common occurrence in September, it isn't unusual for people who have lived in the San Antonio for years and never seen this to see it this year.  Some years you are just lucky!

When flying, they can be pretty loud buzzers and may even knock their bodies against the windows.  Usually you find them at the base of trees or flying around trees to mate in the shade.  During flight, they appear to be black, but the fore wings are green and underside of the body is a pretty iridescent green.  The hind wings are black in color and the exposed body under the wings can also appear black.  In the shade, the matte color of the topside of the beetle makes it appear black.

Green June Bugs can feed on fruit trees and cause damage, but this time of year, they are just concerned with finding a mate and laying eggs.  It's best just to either enjoy or ignore them! 

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Junior Entomology Camp - Ages 4-6

Due to demand, we are now opening a second session (afternoon) for the Junior Entomology Camp for ages 4-6 years.  Same date and location, just held immediately after our morning camp from 12:30-3:30pm.

Curriculum and activities will be the same.  We will attempt to do some collecting, depending on the heat and how much the kids want to collect.  There are some shaded spots we can search, but there will be plenty of bug hunting and bug experimenting inside in the cool!

Campers will: do some light collecting, using real insect collecting nets, experiment with insects such as crickets, hold and touch live, nonvenemous insects and arthropods, and participate in various insect crafts and activities.  If your child is bug crazy - this is the camp for them!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Junior Beekeeping Camp

Do you know a young wanna be beekeeper?  We are offering our second annual Junior Beekeeping Camp, June 27 & 28 from 9am-1pm and spots are still open!

This is an incredibly unique camp with an experience very few people get the chance to enjoy!  We will be learning about beekeeping, putting on real beekeeper suits, opening real bee hives, and learning about the goings on inside the hive.  Campers will also extract honey from the hives and take home their own jar of honey.

Because we will be inside real bee hives (and bees sting!), we do require campers who are mature and well behaved.  They should not be allergic to bees or honey or have a fear of bees.  Ages 10 and up only!

Register at http://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/BexarCounty