A Safer Way To Keep Schools Pest Free; Stop School Pests Launches Free Online Courses

Stop School Pests, a new online training program, is now available to school employees across the United States and beyond at www.StopSchoolPests.com. The training will help schools reduce pest complaints, pesticide use, and pest-related costs, and improve food and fire safety by teaching staff how to prevent pest problems before they occur.

Students spend a major part of each day in school – on average 30 hours each week. Exposure to pests and pesticides can create an unhealthy school environment. Mice and cockroaches can cause or trigger asthma attacks and allergies. Similarly, an over-reliance on pesticides can lead school employees and children to be exposed unnecessarily to dangerous chemicals. Continue reading

Hybridized cotton reverses resistance of pink bollworm to Bt cotton

in Southwest Farm Press

Researchers with the University of Arizona and China discovered a surprising strategy to reverse pink bollworm resistance to genetically engineered cotton.

Cotton growers have been able to use genetically engineered cotton to fight the pink bollworm. This has happened as scientists have been able to produce pest-killing proteins from the widespread soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt. Without adequate countermeasures, scientists have discovered that pests can quickly evolve resistance. Continue reading

Arizona conservation biologist brings together farmers and environmental community

This article, excerpted from Southwest Farm Press, highlights an example of people with various interests working together for a common good.

by , Southwest Farm Press

We have heard a lot in recent years about the plight of honey bees and how agriculture has done its part to contribute to declining populations of the bee family (Anthophila).

We have learned it is not just agricultural practices that have led to the serious decline in these beneficial pollinators; a host of other factors—things like disease and the decline in native plants that normally help the species survive and thrive in a healthy environment—have contributed as well . Continue reading

Two new online resources provide a wealth of information on managing pests in schools

Three years ago, the principal at John McDonogh High School in New Orleans knew he needed help with multiple pest problems at the school but wasn’t sure where to start. Now two websites exist that provide any school personnel with materials on how to use integrated pest management to handle a pest problem.

In 2014, Dawn Gouge at the University of Arizona and Janet Hurley at Texas A&M AgriLife received two separate grants from the Environmental Protection Agency to provide online resources on integrated pest management for school personnel. Gouge used her grant to focus on education and training for personnel, while Hurley planned a one-stop online “big box store” of IPM resources, including documents, training, pest ID pamphlets, state legislation and more. Continue reading

Got bed bugs? Take this survey

The University of Arizona and several partnering research institutions are working to battle the bed bug resurgence in the United States. Researchers hope to determine the real impact and social cost of bed bugs, the risks to individuals and society, as well as the significant causes of infestations.

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Focus on Cotton webcast discusses whiteflies and related viruses

In Delta Farm Press

by the National Cotton Council

Whiteflies and the viruses they carry have been a large, complex, and economically significant problem for cotton growers throughout the world. Whiteflies pick up viruses from a range of host plants near cotton fields, transmit them to cotton plants, and can continue to do so throughout the rest of their lifetime. In the cases of cotton leaf curl virus and cotton leaf curl disease, this ends with all-too-common results: the curling of leaves, and/or the development of leaf-like enations on the undersides of leaves, overall stunting of the plant, and reduced yield and quality.

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University of Arizona seeks survey respondents living with bed bugs

Anyone can get bed bugs! Bed bugs can cause anxiety, bite reactions, and financial hardship.  The University of Arizona Urban IPM Program and several partnering research institutions are working to battle the bed bug resurgence in the United States.  The researchers hope to determine the real impact and social cost of bed bugs, the risks to individuals and society, as well as the significant causes of infestations.

Continue reading