Pest populations rising in Texas

in Southwest Farm Press

by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife

Crop pest populations are on the rise around Texas.

Dr. Sonja Swiger, AgriLife Extension veterinary entomologist, Stephenville, said many pests emerged earlier than usual this year due to the weather, but populations and how long they stay will depend on the weather to come. Continue reading

UK entomologist offers tips on ticks

by Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

A mild winter can have its downsides. One is that more ticks probably survived than normal. The result is more hungry ticks out earlier than usual, according to Lee Townsend, extension entomologist in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Typically, warm weather brings ticks out of hiding to find the blood meal they need to continue their life cycle. In the past two weeks, Townsend has received calls about ticks on both people and pets. Continue reading

CDC Northeast Regional Center for Excellence seeks Program Manager Position in Vector Borne Diseases

This is a full-time (39 hrs/wk) 12-month term appointment with possibility of extension, dependent on funding and successful performance. 

Program Development. Implementation and Evaluation

  • Provide leadership for planning, implementing activities and progress reports for the Northeast Regional Center of Excellence in Vector borne diseases. Develop needs assessment surveys and administer them to public health practitioners in the northeast US.
  • Plan and implement educational programs including curricula, short courses and seminars utilizing a variety of methods including direct teaching through group experiences, mass media, newsletters, electronic technology and distance learning.
  • Supervise undergraduate interns.
  • Analyze and evaluate major program efforts with the input of all program partners and make recommendations for enhancing these efforts.
  • Communicate evaluation results, findings, and recommendations as appropriate.
  • Prepare quarterly reports and yearly impact statements on program progress and accomplishments. Write and disseminate news reports on the Center’s research and training programs.
  • Support the efforts of Center director and co-Investigators.

Continue reading

PhD Fellowships Available in Tick Pathogen Discovery

The National Institute for Microbial Forensics and Food and Agricultural Biosecurity (NIMFFAB) and the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences (CVHS) at Oklahoma State University are pleased to announce the availability of two graduate fellowships for highly qualified, motivated graduate students to pursue the PhD degree while completing mentored research in bioinformatics and pathogen discovery. Available projects involve microbiome and transcriptome analysis of ticks using next generation sequencing and novel platform queries to characterize new and emerging tick-borne pathogens of veterinary and public health importance. English fluency and basic programming skills are required; additional training in bioinformatics is recommended.

For more information, contact vbsc@okstate.edu or visit the Graduate College Application page to begin an application. Oklahoma State University is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity.

It’s winter – Do I still have to worry about ticks?

Many people let down their guard for themselves and their pets once November comes because the associate the cold weather with fewer insects. However, when it comes to ticks, winter weather in the southern states often does not get cold enough to kill off the entire population of adult ticks. Therefore, it’s important to continue to protect pets and be vigilant during the winter months.

The National Pest Alert for ticks gives information about the most common tick species in the U.S., along with tick biology, disease symptoms and photographs of ticks in different stages. Colored maps also show where residents might find different tick species. Continue reading

Northeastern IPM Center announces new online videos

The Northeastern IPM Center announces new videos available on its website and YouTube channel. Continue reading

Wasp and Scale Insects Help Control Giant Reed

By Sandra Avant, Agricultural Research Service

The release of tiny insects to combat the invasive weed giant reed is paying off, according to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) study.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists released the arundo gall wasp and the arundo scale several years ago as part of a biocontrol program to kill giant reed along Texas’ Rio Grande. The weed, also known as “carrizo cane” and “Spanish reed,” clogs streams and irrigation channels, weakens river banks, stifles native vegetation, affects flood control, reduces wildlife habitat, and impedes law enforcement activities along the international border. Continue reading