Texas flooded with mosquitoes now that Harvey is over

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

Among the inevitable fallout stemming from the ocean of water dumped on South Texas by Hurricane Harvey will be a hoard of bloodsucking mosquitoes, but  state-level entomologists predict the first onslaught won’t be the disease vectors many fear.

“For the past several years we’ve been educating people about disease-transmitting mosquitoes, but we are about to witness a huge emergence of other kinds of mosquitoes,” said Dr. Charles Allen, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist and Texas A&M University department of entomology associate department head at San Angelo. “Due to the big rain event associated with Hurricane Harvey, in a few short days and over the next few weeks we’ll be expecting a large outbreak of what are called floodwater mosquitoes.” Continue reading

Early emergence of insects expected due to unseasonable winter and spring conditions

by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife

Above-average temperatures throughout late winter and early spring have Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts around the state experiencing and expecting earlier-than-usual emergence of insects, said Dr. Charles Allen, AgriLife Extension entomologist and integrated pest management coordinator, San Angelo.

Allen said producers should be prepared not only for earlier-than-normal pest emergence but also possibly higher numbers of multi-generational species. Continue reading

Old World bollworm may be worse than New World bollworm

In AgriLife Today

Texas A&M AgriLife entomologists are advising producers about the possible arrival of a potential major new pest of field crops and vegetables in the U.S. if its ominous track-record in other countries is any indication.

The pest is the Old World bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, and was recently detected in Florida. This is the first record of it in the continental U.S. after being discovered in Brazil in 2013, said Dr. Charles Allen, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service state integrated pest management leader in San Angelo.

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Bermuda grass stem maggot advances across Texas

After a year of low activity, the Bermuda grass stem maggot has returned with a vengeance and spread quickly across Texas.

“Since 2013, this new pest has rapidly expanded its range in Texas and is now found throughout much of East, Central and South Texas, and as far west as Abilene and San Antonio,” said Dr. Allen Knutson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist, Dallas.

There have also been reports of the pest even farther west in the Brownwood and Anson areas, said Charles Allen, AgriLife Extension entomologist, San Angelo. Continue reading

Sugarcane aphids are in West Central Texas

According to Dr. Charles Allen, Extension Entomologist, San Angelo, sugarcane aphids have begun to show up in west central Texas.

“I got a call 2 days ago from Michael Palmer, CEA Coleman County. Michael told me he had gotten an “unconfirmed report” that there were sugarcane aphids on grain sorghum in Coleman County,” he said. “I went to Abilene today to attend the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation Board meeting. After the meeting, I inspected headed Johnsongrass and pre-heading grain sorghum. I found no sugarcane aphids on the mature Johnsongrass, but I found small colonies of sugarcane aphids (10 or less) mostly without winged forms present. This field was about 1 mile north of Coleman.

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Sugarcane aphids confirmed on Southern High Plains

By Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

They’re hundreds of miles from the nearest sugarcane fields, nevertheless sugarcane aphids have now been positively identified in significant numbers on grain sorghum in Floyd County, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist.

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Sugarcane Aphids Identified West of I-35 in Texas for First Time

Source: Texas A&M University Press Release. aglifesciences.tamu.edu and Plant Management Network

Sugarcane aphids have been identified on sorghum in San Saba and Coleman counties, marking the first time the insect has been found west of Interstate-35, according to Dr. Charles Allen, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service statewide integrated pest management coordinator, San Angelo.

AgriLife Extension agents Rick Minzenmayer of Ballinger, Neal Alexander of San Saba and Michael Palmer of Coleman have found sugarcane aphid in sorghum fields near San Saba and Coleman, Allen said.

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Experts: Challenges, opportunities ahead for Texas agriculture

Agriculture has made big strides in the Lone Star State the past 25 years, though there are still challenges and opportunities ahead in producing enough food and fiber for Texans and the U.S., according to experts at the 25th Texas Plant Protection Association conference held recently in Bryan.

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Dr. Charles Allen named to associate department head post for AgriLife Extension entomology

SAN ANGELO – Texas A&M University’s department of entomology and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service have named Dr. Charles Allen associate department head for AgriLife Extension entomology programs.

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