Monday, October 16, 2017

Fall Armyworms on the March in South, Central Texas!

Fall armyworms are not an every year occurrence, but when they do make an appearance, they're numbers can be amazing!


Photo courtesy of Herb Haglund



Fall armyworms have several generations throughout the spring, summer and fall.  As their name would imply, the fall generations are often the most populous.

Damage occurs as they feed on foliage.  Fall armyworms can appear to "march" along turf and other plants in their way, consuming the plant tissue in their path.

Fortunately, the outbreaks we are seeing currently are not associated with turf damage.  However, if you are seeing fall armyworms crawling along the driveway, sidewalks, or up the house, take a look look at the turf for signs of damage.  Catch it quickly to prevent major damage.  Spinosad or Bt are good, organic options.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Insecta Fiesta!!!!


We hope you will consider joining us for our 3rd Annual INSECTA FIESTA!  An evening of entomophagy!  We will incorporate insects into the four-course meal with optional pairing.  Learn how insects can also be a sustainable source of agriculture and protein!  Did you know that insects require less water, space, and grain AND provide more protein than beef, chicken or pork.



Food prepared by Bombay Salsa Company and San Antonio Botanical Garden Chefs. Expect a dessert provided by a celebrity chef as well!  Table service provided by 4-H youth in the food challenge and entomology teams.



Should you choose the pairing option, expect a specialty cocktail developed just for our event by a bartender specialist, beer from Blue Star Brewing Company and either a sparkling pilsner or local sweet wine.



Don’t let the bug dinner scare you – food will be excellent and you may not even realize there are insects on the menu! 

This year we are offering table sponsorships – if you would like to promote your business, consider purchasing a table for $550, $700 or $850 to fit up to 9 people.  Details of sponsorship levels and what you will receive on registration website (http://AgrilifeRegister.tamu.edu/BexarCounty)



Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Healthy Cooking School

Learn from the best!  Texas A&M AgriLife's Family and Consumer Sciences program is providing a Healthy Cooking School called "Dinner Tonight".

Learn how to cook a healthy meal for your family during a meal demonstration, eat a healthy dinner and get the chance to learn from various vendors, door prizes, and some Thai Chi relaxation techniques.

Registered dieticians and chefs will prepare the meal all while demonstrating how you can do this at home.

Join us!  Register at http://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/dinnertonight
Cost is only $20 for a meal, door prizes, education, cookbook, and much more!


Thursday, September 7, 2017

SAVE THE DATE!!! Insecta Fiesta 2017

Save the date for our 2017 Insecta Fiesta!


Menu to be posted soon, but expect an Indian/Latin fusion cuisine: sure to please even the pickiest eater yet exiting enough for the adventurous eater!




Thursday, August 31, 2017

Insects and Floodwaters

Insects and floodwaters

By - Mike Merchant, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
http://insectsinthecity.blogspot.com
Fire ant floating colony in Houston floodwaters.
Photo by NBC DFW  @OmarVillafranca
Many in the pest control industry find themselves in the midst of the devastating floods hitting much of south and east Texas this week.  If so, it may be a good time to remind ourselves of some unique pest challenges associated with high water.

Flooding brings all sorts of wildlife into unusually close contact with people, but few critters are more dangerous than fire ants. When floods occur, fire ants exit the ground and float, instinctively linking their legs and forming a floating mat which is nearly impossible to sink. When they inevitably bump into a dry object like a tree, a boat or a person, the ant mass "explodes" with ants quickly exiting the mass and swarming the object.

Diving underwater, or splashing water on the ants, will not help.  The best option is soapy water, which is pretty good at killing the ants and helping drown a floating ant island.  According to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension publication, "Flooding and Fire Ants:Protecting Yourself and Your Family", two tablespoons of soap in a gallon of water, sprayed on a floating mat is effective at drowning ants.  If any of you are engaged in water rescue this week, carrying a supply of soap along with a squirt bottle would be a good idea.

You might not have thought of it, but bed bugs can also become an issue after a public emergency like a tornado or flood.  When lots of people are brought together in an emergency shelter situation, the risk of bed bug encounters goes up.  The University of Minnesota has put together a nice publication on the subject. If you are in a community hosting an emergency shelter consider offering your services to inspect shelters and treat for bed bugs as necessary.  Don't forget the diatomaceous earth and silica aerogel dusts as a means of providing significant control for shelter bedding at minimal risk.

Lastly, after the storm is long gone be prepared for mosquitoes.  The primary mosquito species in the Texas Coastal Bend area are the salt marsh and pasture-land breeding mosquitoes. These are difficult to control at their breeding sites, short of aerial mosquito control campaigns.  But to some extent, these mosquitoes can be controlled in backyards with residual mosquito adulticides. If your company does residential pest control, but hasn't yet gotten into the adult mosquito control business, this may be a good time to start. One good way to educate your customers about the mosquito threat is the Mosquito Safari website.