Friday, April 18, 2014

Alfalfa weevils

Alfalfa weevil adults are about 3/16 of an inch in length, brown with a dark brown stripe down the back.  Weevils are a group of beetles that often have a long snout.  Larvae are legless, plump and yellow to green in color with a dark head. Both adults and larvae have chewing mouthparts.

Females lay eggs in the stems of alfalfa where the larvae develop throughout the spring.  Pupation takes place in the soil. There is one generation per year and the adults can survive 10-14 months.

Host plants include alfalfa, vetch and various clover.

So why am I, an urban agent, writing about what seems to be a field crop pest?  Well, these little guys and gals have been emerging from overwintering sites and making their way into homes and other structures.  I spoke with a Master Naturalist in Williamson county who said that someone brought in a bag full that was collected from the inside of a home.

If you are dealing with alfalfa weevils invading your house, work on exclusion techniques.  Some ideas include:

  1. reduce outdoor lighting at night or use yellow bug bulbs
  2. make sure weather stripping is in good repair around doors & windows
  3. make sure screens are in good repair
  4. seal any crack & crevices with sealant that will expand with temperature change we get throughout the year
  5. seal any pipe/ wire penetrations
If you want, you can do an outdoor treatment with pesticide around the foundation to create a barrier.  Indoor pesticide treatments are unnecessary.  Clean up any weevils found indoors with a dustpan and broom or a vacuum.

On another note....WEBINAR INFORMATION:

If you missed the webinar on ticks from the All Bugs Good and Bad series, you can find the recording here:

Next month, on the first Friday....May 2nd there will be a new webinar.  This webinar will be titled "Are Those Itsy Bitsy Spiders Good or Bad?"  The 45 minute webinar will be presented at 1PM CDT and given by Dr. Nancy Hinkle and moderated by Charles Pinkston.  The webinar will highlight good qualities of spiders and their usefulness.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

FREE Webinar Friday, April 4, 2014 1PM CDT: Get TickSmart: 10 Things to Know, 5 Things to Do

All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Get TickSmart: 10 Things to Know, 5 Things to Do

With more ticks in more places than ever before, there's never been a more appropriate time to raise your tick literacy.  Tick encounter rates aren't creeping up... they're soaring.  Just one species, the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis), transmits Lyme disease and at least 4 additional dangerous infections across a wide swath of the United States.  This tick is not your "regular" tick, although it may be the most common. 

To stay TickSafe and disease-free, there are 10 things you must know about ticks these days.  Once you know about those things, there are 5 top TickSmart actions you can and should take.  No more "hmmms," "uhhhhs," or "I'm not sure."  The Get TickSmart campaign hopes to fast-track your access to knowledge and resources that empower you to be proactive and protected

This webinar will be presented by Dr. Thomas N. Mather, Professor & Director, Center for Vector-Borne Disease and TickEncounter Resource Center, University of Rhode Island and moderated by Shawn Banks, Extension Agent Agriculture-Horticulture, NC State University Cooperative Extension. 

Click here to login as a guest and participate in the live event. 

For more webinars in this series, see All Bugs Good and Bad 2014 Webinar Series. The webinars are brought to you by the following eXtension Communities of Practice: Imported Fire Ants, Urban IPM, Bee Health, and Invasive Species; and by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System

To recap....

What: FREE Webinar on Ticks
When: Friday, April 4, 2014 at 1PM CDT
Where: here

This webinar will be taped, so if you have pressing commitments you can watch later.  If you participate in the live session, you will be able to ask questions.

The Webinar from last month "Straight Talk about Termites" can still be watched....just click HERE!