Urban IPM

Friday, October 14, 2016

Fun facts about bugs

I'm feeling a bit blue today, so I thought I would do something a bit lighter.  Here are 10 fun facts about insects!

  • Insects are on every continent except Antarctica.
  • The fear of cockroaches is called Katsaridaphobia.
  • Mexican jumping beans are seed pods that have been inhabited by the larva of a small moth and are native to Mexico.
  • Adult ladybugs will eat more than 50 aphids per day.
  • Throughout history, species of biting ants have been used as sutures to close wounds.
  • Blow flies find dead bodies using body fluids and gases; they lay their eggs within 2 days after death.
  • Silk comes from the cocoon of a silkworm (a type of caterpillar).  Each cocoon is made up of a filament around 2000- 3000 feet (600-900 meters) in length.  They use 5-8 of the filaments twisted together to make one thread.
  • Peanut butter can have an average of 30 or more insect fragments per 100 g in it  (see website here).
  • A group of fruit flies were the first animals launched into space.
  • Bed bugs have also been known as Cimex, red coates, mahogany flats and wall-lice.

Friday, September 30, 2016

FREE Webinar: calibrating sprayers & spreaders

The October 2016 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series topic will be: Don’t use too much pesticide or fertilizer – learn how to calibrate your home grounds and garden sprayers and spreaders, presented by Ples Spradley from the University of Arkansas. The webinar is on Oct. 7 beginning at 1 pm Central time (2 pm EDT)

WHEN: Friday, October 7th 1:00 PM (central)
WHERE: https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/fireant

Concerns for the preservation of our environment and conservation of resources, as well as the costs associated with pesticides and fertilizers, make it imperative that pesticides and fertilizers be applied correctly. Learn practical tips for calibrating home garden sprayers and spreaders by Dr. Ples Spradley, Associate Professor – Pesticide Safety Education, University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture Little Rock, Arkansas.  Moderated by Ellen Huckabay and Taylor Vandiver, Regional Extension Agents, Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

Click here to login as a guest and participate in the live event. 
Note: on October 7, the link to the live webinar opens about 15 minutes before the webinar. If you try to log in earlier, you will get an error message.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Have you seen me? Snout butterflies

If you have driven, biked or walked anywhere in Central Texas recently, you most likely have noticed butterflies fluttering about.  These are not monarchs or swallowtails that we are used to seeing, but snout butterflies.  Unlike the Monarch butterflies that fly through Texas on the way to overwintering locations, these butterflies are moving to new areas in search of new food sources after depleting the food in the area they emerged.  The butterflies are also in search of mates. Snout butterfly caterpillars feed on hackberry trees, while adults seek out nectar from a variety of sources.

The rainfall we received in August helped the snout butterfly population by providing another flush of vegetation on hackberries for the caterpillars.

The butterflies are brown and orange with white spots (on the tops of the wings).  The underside of the wings is brown to grey and mottled.  The two tusk-like projections from the head are where they get their name. Th adults will mimic leaves when they perch on plants, by folding up the wings and holding their snouts and antennae facing downward.

These butterflies are not anything to worry about and will only be around for a few more weeks.  Get outside and enjoy their beauty while you can!