Author Archives: janet.hurley

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 →

SPN: COVID19 Update: 3.12.2020

For many of us we are learning about this new virus COVID-19. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 is a new strain of coronavirus that scientists first identified in December 2019. COVID-19 is part of the family of coronaviruses, ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-COV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-COV). Because it is a new disease, humans have not built immunity to it, and scientists are still learning how to treat… Read More →

SPN: February is National Pesticide Safety Education month

February is National Pesticide Safety Education month and I decided to devote this month’s newsletter to this topic. What is pesticide safety? Safety is always an issue when using pesticides. Applicators, bystanders, and the environment can be harmed by exposure to pesticide concentrates or vapor drift. Those who work with pesticides must know and follow safe practices to reduce risk. Pesticide safety begins with choosing the correct product. Safety is important in pesticide storage, transportation, mixing, and loading. Equipment cleanup and maintenance must be done safely. Unwanted pesticides… Read More →

SPN: Recordkeeping one of the most important tasks of an IPM program.

IPM Coordinators and pesticide applicators are required to keep records; however, not everyone keeps records the same and completely. Today we are going to look at what you need to maintain good records so that they can support your program and the important work you do. What you put out, when you put it out, how you apply it, who applied it, and the exact location you made that application is critical to ensuring regulators, customers and the public know exactly what you did and why. Application use… Read More →

SPN: Announcing the 2020 School IPM Coordinator Training Schedule

The long awaited 2020 School IPM Coordinator training schedule for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is finally here! If you can’t make one of our in-person trainings check out the online courses at AgriLife Online Pest and Weed Control Courses there you can find the 6 hour School IPM Coordinator class and new for 2020 a 1 hour School IPM refresher class that will allow you to receive this credit to complement a 5 hour structural CEU course to fulfill the 6 hours you need every three years to… Read More →

SPN: Gardens, Mosquitoes and Fungi

In this month’s edition of School Pest News, I have several items to share with you. In an effort to help School IPM Coordinators in TX with their school garden programs, I recently worked with the Junior Master Gardener team to develop a simple document that help explains the volunteers and teacher roles in the school garden process.  This document can be shared with those in your district overseeing gardens to help educate them as well.  At the same time, there is an online module on School Gardens… Read More →

SPN: Head Lice: A Lingering Pest

As October comes to end and the weather changes over from warm to cold, kids will start carrying more garments. Cooler weather is prime time for head lice outbreaks. Contrary to popular belief, head lice are not a sign of poor hygiene; in fact, lice are perfectly comfortable on a clean head. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there is no reliable data on how many people get head lice each year in the United States; however, an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur… Read More →

SPN: Resources We’ve Got Them

Online Training Now Open If you need training, you know AgriLife Extension is here for you. However, sometimes our schedules don’t often mesh. Introducing the Texas Department of Agriculture approved online 6-hour school IPM coordinator training course.  This course has been designed to aid anyone wanting to learn more about their school IPM program or need to fulfill the required training for all new school IPM coordinators. There are six modules that are designed to educate about integrated pest management tactics in school settings as well as the… Read More →

SPN: Back to School Reminders

As the new school year starts this is a good time to remind your staff about your IPM program. Many of your new teachers may not be aware of the TX school IPM law and rules, it is your job as the District IPM coordinator to inform them of this rule and ensure they know what to do if they have pest problems. One of the best things you can do is send out is an email reminder letting them know if they see a pest or pest… Read More →