Author Archives: janet.hurley

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 →

Hurley recognized as integrated pest management pioneer for schools

Specialist created and continues to grow IPM programming around Texas Janet Hurley continues to be surprised by her career choice. She envisioned a job in health care, but despite fighting on a different front line, public health is still her focus. Hurley, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service integrated pest management, IPM, program specialist, Dallas, was recently awarded the International Integrated Pest Management Award of Excellence for IPM Practitioner – Academic by the IPM Symposium for her outstanding work in school IPM. The IPM Symposium is a 100% volunteer run group of practicing… Read More →

SPN: Before you leave the campus remember these tips

It is that time of year. It’s time to clean out the classroom and get ready for the holiday break.  Before you take some time to be with family and just relax, let’s take some time to think about sanitation. When you close up the classroom, make sure that you don’t leave behind a picnic for pests. The pests we generally see in schools include cockroaches, mice, rats, spiders, ants, silverfish, and occasionally crickets. These pests are animals and they like the same things we do, food, water,… Read More →

The Fungus Among Us – Restoring Ecosystems and Controlling Pests

Special article by Marcia Anderson, PhD, LTE;  U.S. EPA Center for Integrated Pest Management It’s that time of year to take a walk through a forest or your neighborhood. Are seeing mushrooms, the reproductive structure of a fungus, growing on rotting tree trunks or decaying woodchips? One of the main benefits of fungi is that they help break down and recycle organic material, making nutrients available for new life.  Depending on where you are located you might be seeing mushrooms growing in the woodchips on your playground. There… Read More →