New AgriLife Extension Service graphic guides target school pests

by Gabe Saldana, Texas A&M AgriLife

Three new infographics and two detailed publications from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service help demystify the best practices for controlling pests in schools, universities and other areas where humans occupy close quarters.

“The average person, while not a pest control expert, is definitely affected when an infestation occurs,” said Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension specialist in school integrated pest management, Dallas. “That means the average person is integral to controlling pests, especially where large groups of people converge.” Continue reading

Floating fire ants, insect pests among flood hazards

by Gabriel Saldana, Texas A&M AgriLife

Fire ants, as their colonies begin to flood, can join feet or tarsi to form water rafts, and they are more aggressive once in the floating formation, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologists. But other insect pests can also pose human threats in flood conditions, they said.

Dr. Paul Nester, AgriLife Extension entomologist, Houston, and Dr. Mike Merchant, AgriLife Extension urban entomologist, Dallas, encourage those affected by flooding to stay prepared and aware of pests, especially when it comes to mosquitoes, floating fire ant colonies and bedbugs. Continue reading

Insect threats after a flood

In Insects in the City

Many in our pest control industry find themselves in the midst of the devastating floods hitting much of south and east Texas this week.  If so, it may be a good time to remind ourselves of some unique pest challenges associated with high water.

Flooding brings all sorts of wildlife into unusually close contact with people, but few critters are more dangerous than fire ants. When floods occur, fire ants exit the ground and float, instinctively linking their legs and forming a floating mat which is nearly impossible to sink. When they inevitably bump into a dry object like a tree, a boat or a person, the ant mass “explodes” with ants quickly exiting the mass and swarming the object. Continue reading

U.S. EPA Announces New on-Demand School Integrated Pest Management Videos Now Available

Access EPA’s new on-demand webinar series about a variety of integrated pest management (IPM) topics. You can increase your knowledge about IPM as time permits during the day and school year. Help make their environments (and yours) pest free using IPM strategies. Learn about pest management strategies you can implement now.

You can also find these training modules and more at the iSchoolPestManager website under Training in the document toolbox. Continue reading

HUD webinar on bed bugs

Bed bug infestations are a serious problem throughout the country, so it’s imperative to know best practices for prevention and control of this widespread problem. Because HUD has released two notices and much written information on this issue, you need to make certain that you are carrying out all of HUD’s requirements. In accordance with project Regulatory Agreements and Section 8 HAP Contracts, a housing area must have no evidence of infestation, and HUD will monitor O/A’s to ensure this is a reality. Continue reading

Bed bugs happen, even in school

by Mike Merchant, Texas A&M AgriLife

Bed bugs happen even in your children’s school, and like it or not we’re all going to have to deal with it. That will mean fighting the inclination to go into hyper-protective parent mode. Instead we all need to relax.  Deep breaths.  Eyes closed. Find your center.  Breeeathe… it will be all right.

It doesn’t matter what kind of school our kids attend, there’s a good chance that sooner or later you’ll hear rumors of bed bugs on campus.  I say this with some confidence because, in case you haven’t heard, these tiny, bloodsucking pests have become something of an epidemic over the past 15 years.  It’s inevitable that sooner or later children who live in infested homes will bring bed bugs to school.  While statistics are few, the numbers of public and private schools reporting problems appear to be on the rise. Continue reading

Webinar series on bed bugs through March 2

The Midwest Pesticide Action Center is sponsoring a series of expert webinars on bed bugs in Chicago. Although the series focuses on Chicago residents and laws, the subjects of the webinars is applicable to areas outside of Chicago.

The series will discuss practical steps for preventing and treating bed bug infestations Each free, 45-minute presentation will be followed by a 30 minute “Ask the Expert” Q&A. Register at http://bit.ly/MPACwebinars . Continue reading