Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Educational Programs for West Nile and Mosquitoes

Want to know more about West Nile and the mosquitoes that carry it?  Texas AgriLife Extension in Bexar County, the San Antonio Central Library and San Antonio Garden Center are hosting educational seminars on West Nile and Mosquitoes.

This program will cover the basics of mosquito biology, where they breed, how to prevent and manage them, the species that carry West Nile, general information about West Nile and how to protect yourself against it.

West Nile is expected to continue to be a problem throughout the remainder of the summer and into early fall. Learn what you can about the disease and how to protect yourself and your family.

September 6th
September 13th
San Antonio Central Library 
600 Soledad
Space is limited, please RSVP the Central Library at www.mysapl.org / 210-207-2500

September 6th
San Antonio Garden Center
3310 N. New Braunfels Ave, San Antonio, TX 78209 

Space is limited, please RSVP to Molly at mekeck@ag.tamu.edu or 210-216-5566

Thursday, August 16, 2012

West Nile is Real - Protect Yourselves

While you are much more likely to die from a car accident or the flu, West Nile Virus is very real and a threat in Texas.  This year, for some reason, it is much more of a threat.  More people have contracted the disease from mosquitoes than in previous years, and unfortunately more people have died.

The simple fact of the matter is that West Nile is out there and mosquitoes carry it and can transmit it to human populations.  I taut using insect repellent and reducing mosquito breeding sites every year, all year.  But the unfortunate events have turned peoples' ears and made mosquito prevention a higher priority.

West Nile Virus has no cure - you can only treat the symptoms and hope it goes away in due time.  Therefore, prevention is the key.  Prevention involves avoiding mosquito bites.

This can be done with the 4 D's:
1 - Drain standing water - water is where mosquitoes lay their eggs and the larvae and pupae live.  If there is not standing water, they cannot lay their eggs and the populations are reduced. Mosquitoes prefer still, dirty, shaded water.  Fast running streams and fountains and properly cared for pools are not going to breed mosquitoes.
2 - Dusk and Dawn - stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active, dusk and dawn.  Now, mosquitoes can be active during the day, but you are much more likely to encounter them during dusk and dawn around areas with dense foliage and shade. AND the mosquito species that transmit West Nile are active mainly at dawn and dusk.
3 - Dress in Long Sleeves and Pants - If your clothes are loose and your skin isn't exposed, the mosquitoes can't get to you!
4 - DEET - please, please, please use insect repellent of some sort.  Now, I say DEET because it goes with my four D's nicely, but there are other options.  Picaridin and DEET are longer lasting and known to be very effective.  There are many other natural or botanical options, and some are effective, but because they are natural you do need to reapply regularly as they dissipate quickly being natural ingredients.

Take care of yourself the remainder of this summer and stay away from mosquitoes.  Lets all hope the West Nile issue goes away quickly and the worst is behind us!

For more information on West Nile, visit the CDC website.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bees, Bugs, and Gardening - Come Learn!

August and September mark the months for a few very interesting programs offered by Texas AgriLife Extension.  I hope to see some of you there!

August 21 - 30 Bugs Every Gardener Should Know - 2-4pm.  Cost is $10, payable by check at the door.  Insects are all around us and you don't have to be a gardener to realize that!  If you are interested in what insects are anticipated to be busy during the fall and who could potentially cause some damage, this is the program for you.  Real specimens will be utilized and we'll cover who's beneficial and how to prevent and manage those that aren't. Location: 3355 Cherry Ridge, Ste 208.  Space is limited, please RSVP to Molly at mekeck@ag.tamu.edu.

August 24 - Grounds Maintenance Workshop - A turf management program geared for grounds maintenance professionals, but homeowners also welcome.  For more information click here.

August 28 - Back Yard Gardening Series - Bexar County Texas AgriLife Horticulturalist, David "the gardener" Rodriguez will take you through the gardening alphabet, A-Z, and teach you everything you need to know about gardening.  August's series will cover the "C" & "D" plants.  Cost is $10, payable at the door.  For more information, click here.

September 28 & 29 - Beekeeping Basics - If you are interested in getting started with beekeeping or just want to see if its something you can do, come on down!  We will cover bee biology and the basics of beekeeping.  Learn all you need to get started, including a field day in which you will get to wear a bee suit and open up and get into an active hive.  This is the best, hands-on beekeeping program you can attend and THE BEST way to learn beekeeping for a newbie. Space is limited and we fill up fast.  Please email Molly to see if there is still room - mekeck@ag.tamu.edu.  For registration form, click here.

Applications now being accepted for the Fall 2012 Master Gardener Program.

Children's Vegetable Garden now accepting applications for fall season.