Author Archives: janet.hurley

EPA Healthy Schools Newsletter Debut

Howdy everyone, Region 6 EPA sent out a Healthy Home and Schools newsletter.  It’s four pages of useful information June 2020 Healthy Schools CF Topics include: notes for nurses, information for custodians, Sunwise information to protect everyone during summer, plus ways to stay safe at home with simple tips to keep the house healthy too. While I have your attention, let me introduce you to the newest page on the school IPM website – Recorded Webinar Events on this page are several recordings of webinar events that you can… Read More →

Disinfectant safety during the COVID-19 pandemic

As you prepare to open your campuses to students and staff, here are a couple of items to help you prepare. 1. The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) will hosting a webinar on  Disinfectant safety during the COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday, June 24  at  1:00 pm Central  In this webinar NPIC will address common misconceptions and questions about disinfectant safety. They will also tour EPA’s online tool for products effective against COVID-19. Topics include: Differences between cleaners, sanitizers, and disinfectants Why “contact time” is important for a disinfectant to… Read More →

SPN: Summer work in the age of COVID-19

No matter where you live these days you have been affected by COVID-19.  Some of us can work from home, while others have been reassigned and some have not been able to work.  However, as June 1st approaches many of us will be returning to our work environments with new social distancing guidelines.  These guidelines also require all of us to change our behavior on how we interact but also how we will need to implement strict cleaning procedures. So how do you maintain your IPM program and… Read More →

Warm weather means more ticks: Texans, take care outdoors

As the warm weather draws more and more Texans outdoors, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts want people to be aware of the danger ticks pose. “Ticks are blood feeders in all life stages and can transmit pathogens that can lead to disease transmission,” said Sonja Swiger, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension entomologist, Stephenville. “While we do see tick-borne disease here in Texas, our rates are much lower than many other states,” she said. “However, people need to be aware and vigilant. That is the only way to stop them.”… Read More →

Stinging caterpillar season starts: AgriLife experts warn stinging caterpillars can cause contact rashes, painful reactions

As the weather warms up and people begin spending more time in their yards, parks and forests, more people will be coming home with a rash or bug bite. However, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts say before you blame a flying insect or a poisonous plant for a skin ailment, you may need to consider another culprit – stinging caterpillars. “Spring foliage has brought on an abundance of caterpillars, a few of whom carry irritating or even venomous hairs,” said Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension integrated pest management… Read More →

SPN: While the humans are away the pests will play

Since March 23, 2020, most TX schools have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, during this time the most common pests of TX have not taken a break from your campuses. Even though our AgriLife Extension offices are closed we are still working from home and insect questions are still coming in. Over the past month we have seen an increase in stinging caterpillars mostly in the San Antonio and Hill county region of the state. There will be a special story on that coming later… Read More →

Cleaning and COVID-19: Read the Label: Understanding ‘Danger’, ‘Caution’, ‘Warning’

If empty store shelves have you looking under your sink and wondering if the cleaning products you already own can kill the new coronavirus, you’re not alone. What you may not realize is many of your cleaning products are classified as pesticides — and reading and understanding the label is key to safe and effective use. “In the eyes of the law, sanitizer and disinfectant products are considered pesticides,” said Mike Merchant, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service urban entomologist, Dallas. “And if you’re a little wary of using pesticides, you should… Read More →

SPN: Focusing on grounds and turf areas

April showers brings weeds, fire ants and few other pests that can impact your outdoor areas.  Even though most of us are limited on traveling, our home lawns, as well as our public spaces still need to be maintained, if we don’t additional pest issues like rats and snakes will move in. This issue will focus on several fact sheets that have been developed by Extension Specialists to help you manage your outdoor surroundings. WHAT IS THAT MOUND??? We have all seen them, a mound in the yard… Read More →

SPN: Pest Management in the era of COVID-19

What’s that saying about March – in like a lamb out like lion or vice versa. We have always associated that saying with the weather but now I am beginning to think COVID-19 is following this model. It started slow and as March is coming to end this virus is beginning to roar. For us in pest management this has been an odd time, do you service accounts when we are trying to practice social distancing (I prefer physical distancing)? What is considered essential services when it comes… Read More →

What’s that blob in my playground?

Are you seeing a lot of odd looking blobs of yellow,  pink, white, or even orange looking foam substance? You are not alone. And no it’s not some animal vomiting, this is Slim Mold. Slime molds belong in the phylum Myxomycota in the kingdom Protista. They are not a true fungus. These organisms exist in nature as a “blob” (plasmodium), similar to a amoeba. And they engulf their food, mostly bacteria. The slime mold that typically appear on mulches are from the genus, Fuligo septica  . The brightly… Read More →