Author Archives: janet.hurley

SPN: A Bird’s Eye View of Integrated Pest Management Compliance

This article was first published by TASB Risk Management Fund on February 23, 2021 by Campbell Gill.  I am using this as a way for you to take time to review your IPM program and see what needs to be updated at your district.  Controlling the pest population at your school district or community college isn’t as simple as spraying pesticides. Fighting off annoying critters without negatively impacting the health of your community and the environment requires a delicate balancing act of responsible pesticide use, staff training, and… Read More →

Be on the lookout for armyworms

Pest management professionals who care for lawns should be on the alert for fall armyworms this fall. Higher-than-normal populations of this lawn-eating insect have been reported from many areas in Texas this past summer and we have started to see them in San Antonio and Austin areas. While fall armyworms are nothing new, according to Wizzie Brown, Extension Program Specialist for IPM in Austin, these worms started appearing in home lawns in late July to early August. Usually, infestations take place in late summer or early fall, but… Read More →

SPN: Welcome Back to Campus: let’s not bring in unwanted guests

Where has the year gone? Our campuses are bracing for full student and staff occupation, but are you ready for the pest invasion as well?? Did you know that schools have four more times occupants than office buildings for the same amount of floor space? (Schools for Health.org) And yet we don’t always think about how to manage these areas to keep pests like ants, cockroaches, bed bugs, ticks, fleas, mice, rats, and a whole lot more out of our buildings. In this newsletter are some tips everyone… Read More →

Youth gardening programs grow great kids

There are numerous benefits when youth participate in the Junior Master Gardener Program. Research has shown that outdoor interests, physical activity, and good nutrition all yield positive benefits for youth. And research also shows gardening is an excellent way for young people to connect with nature and learn about personal responsibility, commitment, and teamwork. “Through Junior Master Gardener youth programs we engage young people in novel, hands-on group and individual learning experiences that help them develop a love of gardening and an appreciation for the environment, while also cultivating their… Read More →

SPN: How to win the fight against stickers; management tips to ruin sandburs’ summer

Whether you call them stickers or sandburs, a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert can help you win the war against these prickly little pain dispensers. Sandburs, also known as grassbur or sandspur, are an annual and/or perennial grass. The sharp, spiny burs are a seed pod that can latch on to passersby for distribution to other locations. “Weed control is ultimately up to the end-user, but sandburs are one of those weeds that can be a painful reminder that our yards may need some attention,” said Chrissie… Read More →

Watch out for Snakes

Rising temperatures mean the chances of coming across a snake are also rising. Rapid urbanization and higher-than-normal amounts of rain are a combination that increase the likelihood of human-snake encounters, and more interactions can lead to more bites. Maureen Frank, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service wildlife specialist, Uvalde, has some tips on how to avoid snake bites and deal with objects and places around homes and properties that may attract snakes. Snakes, whether we like them or fear them, are becoming more active around the house and in their… Read More →

SPN: News and Resources, you can use for your IPM program.

This month’s newsletter is aimed at helping you out with a few resources you can use, plus some news stories you might be interested in that you can share. Understanding how to obtain a commercial or noncommercial pesticide license in Texas can be very confusing. Over the years I have devoted newsletter space to this topic. Last month for the joint TASB/AgriLife Coronavirus Confusion Abounds Webinar Series we covered Pesticide Licensing in TX. This session was recorded and can be found on YouTube. The video is an hour… Read More →

SPN: Tiny pests that drive you crazy – mites.

Although mites are not insects they often get grouped in with a vast assortment of urban insect pests. Mites are actually arachnids rather than insects since they have 8 legs (as adults) and two body regions as opposed to the six legs and three body regions that insects have. Mites are one of the most abundant groups of organisms on the earth. Beneficial mites include species that break down organic matter and predators of pest insects and other mites. While most mites carry out their business quietly without… Read More →

SPN: Pesticide Awareness Month: Read the label

You probably wouldn’t buy an unfamiliar food product without looking at the label or take a new prescription without reading the instructions and warnings first. The same care should be exercised when using pesticides, because the label is the law, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, recognizes February as National Pesticide Awareness Month. AgriLife Extension integrated pest management specialist Janet Hurley encourages the public to take the time to learn how to protect themselves and their families from the potential dangers pesticides… Read More →

SPN: How do I get a pesticide license in Texas?

To be licensed or not to be licensed? Although having a pesticide applicator license is not required for IPM Coordinators in Texas, it’s an option that many are choosing. Licensing is a decision that must be based on your own circumstances. This article is designed to help you understand the issues involved. A certified applicator (CA) is licensed by the state to apply pesticides. In Texas, only certified applicators and licensed technicians can conduct pest control services on school and child care facilities. In Texas, a school district… Read More →