Category Archives: Newsletter

KEEP YOUR SCHOOL GARDEN PROGRAMS GREEN!

Funding School Garden Programs for long term success. By Jeffery Raska, Program Assistant, 4-H Youth Development, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension – Dallas County Many times, I am asked by school groups at the initial planning meeting, “Can I do this or can we build that’’ and my answer is always the same, sure we can ‘’ it only takes money and knowhow!!” I am amazed that some of the best initially funded schools obtain funding to start a garden, but do not have an ongoing budget planned to… Read More →






SPN: Bat Management – What everyone should know.

Bats, which consume huge quantities of insects, including many that damage crops, are important to our local economies and Texans protect them as valuable allies. However, bats sometimes create a nuisance when they roost in buildings in large numbers. Why do bats roost in buildings anyway? Are they dangerous? Moreover, what is the best way to handle bat nuisance problems? There are approximately 1,100 bat species in the world. Texas is home to 33 species, with 10 species that most are familiar with. “Texas has one of the… Read More →






SPN: Rodenticides How do they fit into your IPM program?

By Janet Hurley, Extension Program Specialist III Rodent control is a multi-layer process and baiting for rats is just one part of the IPM process. However, using rodent baits is a question most School IPM Coordinators have concern over since they do work around children, food handling areas and non-target animal populations. The information below is some general information on rodenticides for use with the house mouse, roof rat, and Norway rats. So what’s the difference between a rodenticide and rodent bait? A rodenticide is a pesticide or… Read More →






Getting a school garden blooming (The Garden Committee)

By:   Jeff Raska, Program Assistant, 4-H Youth Development,  Texas A&M AgriLife Extension  Dallas County Texas                jwraska@ag.tamu.edu A school vegetable garden can be a wonderful outdoor classroom for studying natural science or just hanging out writing a story. Having worked on and off with school gardens for 25 years I have seen many great school garden programs bloom and fade as time passes and school priorities change. For the last 7 years, I have had the privilege of working with school gardens as a 4-H Program Assistant for Dallas… Read More →






Why people resort to the silver bullet: using psychology to teach IPM

Written By: Rosemary Hallberg, Communication Director, Southern IPM Center I’ve had many discussions with my colleagues about the best way to sell integrated pest management, or IPM, to the public. Although I don’t usually work with people directly on their pest management practices, I have heard some of our IPM Coordinators say, and have read in several news articles, that IPM is easier to sell to some people than to others. Why is that? Why is the organic community so successful at selling organic goods to the general… Read More →






SPN: Mid-year Clutter Control – Keeping it Clean at your school campus

As November comes to an end, and the weather starts to cool, teachers and staff start thinking about the holidays. However, what they probably don’t think about is their role in the IPM program. As parties are planned, decorations brought out of storage and cooler temperatures invite open windows it’s also a good time to remind everyone that mice, ants, and other critters are on the move. This time of year also brings out the clutter bug in all of us, it’s best to keep on top of… Read More →






SPN: Online IPM Resources to assist IPM Professionals with their Programs

In 2014, a number of collaborating institutions led by Dawn Gouge, University of Arizona and Janet Hurley , Texas A&M AgriLife Extension received two separate grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide online resources on integrated pest management (IPM) for school personnel. The Stop School Pests team used their grant to focus on education and training for personnel, while Hurley and collaborating scientists created a one-stop online “big box store” of IPM resources, including documents, training, pest ID pamphlets, state legislation and more. The training website,… Read More →






Halloween Pests on the Move

Be on the Watch for Asps! Puss caterpillars, AKA Asps have been spotted this season in south TX! Be on the lookout and be careful if you encounter them. These fuzzy, almost cute, little caterpillars can inflict a nasty sting without provocation. Hidden inside the fuzzy façade, are venomous spines that result in a painful rash or “burn”. They are not aggressive caterpillars, and stings often occur when individuals accidentally brush up against them, or curious children pick one up to check it out. The moth they will… Read More →






Where’s the List?

For over twenty years the Texas School IPM rules have confused IPM Coordinators and Pest Management Professionals due to our classification of pesticides.  For some, there is a belief that no pesticides can be used, for others; they are just not sure what is the difference between Green, Yellow, or Red Category products? School districts are allowed to apply a wide variety of pesticides to control pests like, rodents, insects and weeds at school buildings, grounds or other facilities in accordance with the approval for use and restrictions… Read More →






SPN: Linking IPM to School Health!

How Tyler ISD transformed their environmental health program by Janet Hurley, Extension Program Specialist III Tyler ISD is a typical mid-sized school district in a suburban area; they are experiencing population growth. With that growth means new campuses and some unique problems. Like all public schools in Texas, Tyler adopted integrated pest management (IPM) in 1995 when the TX Legislature mandated all public schools to use better practices to managing pests, rather than spraying baseboards for perceived pests. In 2014 Robert Grant was appointed Supervisor of Maintenance for… Read More →