Introduction to Insect Identification: The Good, the Bad, and the Buggy

Speaker: John Meyer, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor, Department of Entomology, NC State University

When: Tuesdays, March 14 through April 11, 2017 – 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

What’s on the leaf of your azalea? Are you curious about those grubs in your compost bin? Is there a striped caterpillar eating your parsley? Learning to recognize and identify the insects in your garden can be a daunting task-there are over a million described species and at least that many undescribed ones! This course will help you sort out all that diversity. It will focus on the major orders and families of garden insects, show you how to recognize members of the common groups, and help you distinguish between the good bugs and the bad bugs. Knowing what it is opens the door to a whole world of information about what it does and what to do about it. As an old Chinese proverb says, “The beginning of knowledge is getting things by their right name.”

Click here for more information. Continue reading

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Hydroponics and Protected Agriculture

Managing Greenhouse and Protected Ag vegetable pests –

Predator and pest identification

Hands-on microscope observation and more! Continue reading

Scouting videos for field crops

Texas A&M AgriLife specialists have prepared a few videos that are good, general videos on insect identification and scouting.

Although the videos make reference to Texas, the information in them is general enough to use in any state with the pest.

Insect Identification Lab Director, Penn State University

The Department of Entomology, College of Agricultural Sciences at Pennsylvania State University is seeking an enthusiastic scientist to lead efforts on identification of arthropod pests, which impact biosecurity, food security, and public health. The successful candidate will respond to inquiries and requests for information from the public and will participate in one or more Penn State Extension teams such as the Horticulture Team. Success in this position will lead to a reduction in pesticide use and improvements in water quality, biosecurity, and public health. Candidates must possess effective communication skills (verbal and written), teaching skills, interpersonal skills, ability to build effective working relationships with colleagues and clientele, and work as an active member of the Department and Extension team. The ability to engage professionally with a diverse population of faculty, staff, and students across the university is required. The individual also must be able to work effectively in a team and with diverse populations and audiences. While not a requirement, the ability to communicate in Spanish is a plus. Continue reading

“Bites, Stings and Venomous Things” Now Available in Spanish

The SW Ag Center received a grant from the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America to update, translate and disseminate a Spanish version of the popular booklet, Bites, Stings and Venomous Things.  The booklets are now ready for dissemination.  Please contact Nykole.Vance@uthct.edu to order a supply.  A limited number are available for free.  Continue reading

Expect invaders as weather gets colder

This post was written for Texas Extension specialists; however, the tips included are applicable to people in all states.

With temperatures dropping, many Texas residents likely will be getting some unwanted guests in their homes around the holidays, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service pest management experts.

“This time of year, squirrels, as well as raccoons, will try to make nests in attics,” said Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension program specialist in integrated pest management, Dallas. “Also several species of ants will nest in the walls of homes for warmth and protection.” Continue reading

Texas A&M has online insect identification resources

Texas A&M AgriLife has several online insect identification resources for your use.

For aphids, http://aphid.aphidnet.org/, can be used to identify the 66 most polyphagous and cosmopolitan aphid species in the world.

For grasshoppers, http://itp.lucidcentral.org/id/grasshopper/adult/Media/frmsetRLGH.htm is a great tool to help identify species.

Dr. Salvadore Vitanza reports http://idtools.org/ is a wonderful resource with a wealth of information, fact sheets, photographs, and Lucent technology identification keys. He reports that these tools make identification quick and easy and was especially impressed by the “Find Best” magic wand icon. Dr. Gary Miller explains how to use the idtools.org system on this YouTube video: http://youtu.be/eLTqmsTIMag.

Wizzie Brown also shared information about a great website for teaching Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists about insect identification (Class and Order level). http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/course/ent425/library/compendium/index.html