Urban IPM

Friday, March 17, 2017

2017 East Austin Garden Fair

It's that time of year for everyone's favorite garden fair!  Come join us for the fun!

When: Saturday, April 8, 2017 from 9AM- 2PM

Where: Parque Zaragosa Recreation Center- 2608 Gonzales Street Austin, TX

Cost: FREE!!

Free and open to the public, this fun, hands-on fair involves community members in creative, low-cost ways to grow vegetables, herbs and fruit to improve the family diet as well as information about Earth-Kind landscaping. Travis County Master Gardeners offer University-based information to fairgoers on a diverse variety of horticulture topics, while Community Partner Organizations provide information on closely-related services, programs and projects.

The fair features an assortment of DIY and demonstration activities, including building a rain barrel, raised bed or compost bin, and information about waterwise irrigation methods and gardening in containers and straw bales.  Learn how to care for house plants as well as your garden tools!  Booths on backyard chickens and beekeeping are a big hit with all ages and there will be plenty of activities for kids.

Free soil screening for gardeners will be offered through Austin Resource Recovery. To have soil tested for metals, pH and nutrients, attendees need to bring a 2-cup soil sample in a quart-size zip-lock bag. Instructions for soil sampling can be found at http://austintexas.gov/soilkitchen.

Free vegetable, herb and ornamental plants will be given to attendees while supplies last.


Community partners and new participants in the fair include the Sustainable Food Center, Green Corn Project, Home Depot Kid’s Workshop, Austin Public Library, Austin Resource Recovery, City of Austin-Urban Forestry, 4-H CAPITAL AmeriCorps, Travis County 4-H, Travis County Master Wellness Volunteers, the Travis County Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and the Cooperative Extension Program-Prairie View A&M University.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Yucca plant bug

Do you have yucca planted in your landscape?  Have you checked it lately for pest problems?  I know that it seems early to start checking for pests but I walked past the yucca at the office this week and it is covered with yucca plant bugs already.

Yucca plant bugs are in the order Hemiptera and are related to other sucking pests such as stink bugs and leaf-footed bugs, but are much smaller.  Adult yucca plant bugs have a bright reddish-orange head and thorax with dark bluish-black wings.  Immature yucca plant bugs (nymphs) look similar to adults but do not have fully developed wings.  Since immatures do not have their wings fully developed, they're more red than black in color.


Both immatures and adults feed on plants by piercing plant tissue with their mouthparts causing yellowing spots on the foliage.

These little critters can sometimes be a challenge to manage since when you go to treat for them, they all dive into the center of the yucca into the nooks and crannies to hide.  You can try products with active ingredients such as insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, azadirachtin (neem), pyrethrins or bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, or carbaryl.  You will need to get good coverage to make sure that you get the pesticide to where the insects are hiding (and be careful not to get stabbed by the yucca!).

Friday, February 3, 2017

FREE Webinar series- 2017 All Bugs Good & Bad

The 2017 webinar series All Bugs Good and Bad starts today (Friday, February 3, 2017). Please join us for this webinar series for information you can use about good and bad insects.  We used your feedback to bring topics that you suggested for 2017.   We will discuss troublesome insects such as invasive ants, landscape pests, vegetable pests, and house dwellers as well as arachnids too.  Not all insects are bad, though, come and meet some of our native pollinators!  The series kicks off today with “Don’t let tramp ants take over your home”!

Friday, February 3 at 1:00 pm CST

It's frustrating when ants march into our homes, schools, and buildings. Tramp ants such as Argentine ants and odorous house ants can be very frustrating to deal with especially if we are trying to control them the wrong way. Get a plan! Learn practical tips for preventing problems from these pests in this webinar presented by Dr. Karen Vail, Professor, University of Tennessee.  Moderated by Mallory Kelley and David Koon, Regional Extension Agents, Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Click here to login as a guest and participate in the live event.   Note: on February 3, 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. 

For more webinars in this series, see 
2017 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series. The webinars are brought to you by the following eXtension Communities of Practice: Ant Pests, and Urban IPM; and by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension ServiceClemson Cooperative Extension and University of Georgia Extension.

Please note that the connection room is different (and easier!) this year. 


Schedule for the 2017 series:

February 3: Don’t let tramp ants take over your home; Dr. Karen Vail

March 3: Protect your veggie harvest from hungry insects; Zach Snipes

April 7: Mosquitoes and insect borne diseases; Dr. Derrick Mathias

May 5: Ticks; Dr. Thomas Mather

June 2: Aphids, scales, and whiteflies; Erfan Vafaie

August 4: Drain flies, house flies, and fungus gnats; Wizzie Brown

September 1: Meet our native pollinators; Molly Keck

October 6: New invasive ants to know about; Dr. Timothy Davis

November 3: Pantry pests, carpet beetles, and clothes moths; Dr. Eric Benson

December 1: Don’t let bed bugs hamper your vacation plans; Alan Brown