Friday, June 29, 2012

Continuing Education Courses for Private & Structural License Holders

I’m offering a course in July for CEU credit for licensing by TDA (both private applicator & structural). 

Date: July 26, 2012
Time: 9AM- 12PM
Location: 1600-B Smith Road, Austin, TX 78721
Cost: $35.00

Texas AgriLife Extension will be providing continuing education credits for maintaining licensing with TDA (Texas Department of Agriculture). The credits are available for those holding private applicator licenses or structural pest control service licenses.

Presentations will be on the following topics:
  • Fire Ant Management
  • Landscape Pests
  • Basics of IPM (integrated pest management)
Private applicator credits: 2 general, 1 IPM
Structural applicator credits: 1 general IPM, 1 pest, 1 L&O
Space is limited to the first 30, paid registrants. Please register by July 13, 2012.

You can find the registration form here:

Friday, June 8, 2012

Lacewing larvae

Lacewings are beneficial insects, right?  Well...that depends on the circumstance in my opinion.  I was definitely thinking that they were NOT beneficial when one of the little boogers BIT me!

Lacewing larvae.  Photo by Bart Drees.
It happened a few weeks ago when hubby, the boy and I were playing outside on the swingset.  The boy discovered the lacewing and asked what it was.  I plucked it off the playset and was holding it to show him, while explaining that they were so good because they helped to eat insects that feed on our plants.  It began to crawl up my arm as I explained (maybe that's the problem....explaining too much to a 3 year old) and that's when it happened.  I felt a sharp prick and in my surprise the larvae fell into the grass.  My arm turned instantly pink in the area.  While it didn't feel the best, it wasn't excruciating pain, it didn't last long and my pink mark lasted maybe an hour or so before fading.  I would guess that most people, if bitten, wouldn't even get the pink mark, but I have really sensitive skin and even something that is simple for most, like mosquito bites, turn into huge pinkish welts that last for a long time.

So, the moral of the story is....lacewing larvae are beneficial when they are eating unwanted insects such as aphids, not when they bite you!

If you are interested in learning more about beneficial insects, please attend my seminar next Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 9AM.  It will be held at the Travis County Extension Office at 1600-B Smith Road Austin, TX 78721.

I'll also be speaking the next day (June 14, 2012) from 10AM-12PM on Insect Pest Suppression Methods for Vegetables and Ornamentals.  That presentation will also be at the Extension office.

I do want to point out some other posts that you may find interesting.  Mike Merchant wrote an interesting post on tarantulas and their courtship.  Since I know many of you love it when you see tarantulas, you should check it out.  I've also been getting some calls recently about areas with high numbers of walkingsticks.  Molly Keck wrote a great post about walkingsticks that you can check out if you've been finding them lately.  And lastly, I would like to welcome my colleague Paul Nester to the world of blogging.  He recently started a blog about fire ants that you can check out for more information.