Thursday, March 26, 2015

Termite Season

Termites are probably the most feared insect to humans ... especially homeowners.  They portray a vision of a house falling down, circus tent fumigations, a torn up yard, and major expense.  Your home is usually your greatest investment, so naturally, an teeny insect that hides underground and eats wood inside you home is a scary thing!
Subterranean termite mud tube and activity.

February and March are considered termite swarming season in Texas.  Although the weather has been up and down and its hard to predict when they may actually swarm, we have gone a few years without a good swarming season, and I imagine if not this year, at least next, will have some good swarms.

A termite swarm is when there is usually extreme humidity (often associated with rain) and the winged termites emerge from the nest to mate and start a new nest.  The females will become queens and start a new colony.

Termites are still active at all times of the year, not just during swarming season.  In fact, with the extra moisture and warmer weather, they are probably doing just great.  Cellulose material from stumps, buried logs, lumber, landscaping timber and firewood are all examples of food sources for termites that most of us have somewhere in the landscape.  The closer that is to your house, the more likely they are to start feeding on cellulose in the house.

The good news is that finding termites or termite damage should be mean that you need to take immediate action.  Take some time to get some BIDs and figure out the best management options for your situation.  You will know if the house is in danger of collapse!

For much more information about termites and management options, a fantastic webinar is being provided by Dr. Robert Puckett, an urban entomologist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension on April 3rd at 1pm Central.  He has extensive experience in termite field and lab research.  Be sure to tune in for a rare opportunity to learn more about termites that you probably ever thought you would learn!

The link to the webinar is:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Backyard Basics EXPO

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is hosting an AMAZING program, Saturday March 28th at Madison High School.  This EXPO happens only once a year, and we pack the place to the gills!  We bring in specialists of all sorts of expertise to speak about various agricultural programs you can do in your own backyard: beekeeping, gardening, canning, aquaponics, rainwater harvesting, chickens and poultry and so much more.  There is something for everyone.  The presentations will go on throughout the day in concurrent sessions and vendors will be present to answer questions and/or sell goods (Alamo Area Beekeepers Association, Bexar County Master Gardeners, etc).  This EXPO is geared for those who garden, enjoy agriculture as hobby, and those who want some self-sustaining projects in their backyard.

If you are interested, we still have some spots.  Be sure to register at before the date of the event.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

30 Bugs Every Gardener Should Know

As I do every Spring and Fall, I will be hosting an educational program all about the "bugs" you can expect to encounter this spring in the garden and landscape.  See actual specimens along with pictures and be sure to bring any damage, pictures, or insects you need identified!

When - Tuesday, March 24th from 10am-12pm

Location - Bexar County Extension Office, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208, SATX 78230

Cost - $10, payable at the door (credit cards not accepted)

Space is limited, please RSVP to Molly at or 210-467-6575