Plant pest, disease detection program slated for Feb. 6 in Austin

The Travis County Master Gardeners will present a program for detecting insects and diseases that may harm gardens and landscapes.

“The idea behind this program is to help gardeners improve their observation skills toward detecting invasive pests and diseases such as the brown marmorated stink bug and rose rosette,” said Daphne Richards, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist for Travis County. Continue reading

Webinars for National Invasive Species Week, February 22-28

National Invasive Species Awareness Week is scheduled for February 22-28. And according to experts with the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), it’s a topic that deserves our attention. Non-native plants, animals and pathogens can harm humans and the environment and impact our nation’s economy. The damage done by invasive plants alone costs the U.S. an estimated $34.7 billion a year.

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Texas A&M has online insect identification resources

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

For aphids,, can be used to identify the 66 most polyphagous and cosmopolitan aphid species in the world.

For grasshoppers, is a great tool to help identify species.

Dr. Salvadore Vitanza reports 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 system on this YouTube video:

Wizzie Brown also shared information about a great website for teaching Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists about insect identification (Class and Order level).

Webinar on wildlife control training for Master Gardeners

The Wildlife Damage Management training manual for Master Gardener volunteers provides methods for managing wildlife damage, based on applied research, for a variety of different species.  The manual recommends the latest control techniques within a framework of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). It offers strategies for a variety of situations and species, and has the following advantages:

  1. suitable for any state in North America,
  2. recognizes the diversity of activities and complex decisions involved with managing problem wildlife,
  3. organized so that readers can find information quickly, and
  4. encourages feedback from readers with the goal of improving the program.

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