Author Archives: janet.hurley

New Free Resource for School Districts to Improve Student Health and Performance!

School districts throughout the US now have a free training tool to ensure all school staff – custodians, maintenance, food service, teachers, grounds staff and more – understand how they can reduce pest problems and asthma, and boost student and staff performance, as they go about their daily tasks. Did you know that exposure to mice, cockroaches, dust mites and pesticides can trigger asthma attacks? Increasing awareness of the pest connection to asthma is one of the key goals of the free training. Asthma is the number one… Read More →

SPN: The Importance of Educating Staff about Your IPM Program

Integrated pest management (IPM) is a process that requires cooperation among all school staff members, faculty and students and pest management professionals within a school district. IPM is a strategy of managing pests using multiple control tactics that provide the best control with the least cost and environmental impact. IPM is based on thorough knowledge of the pests and the technologies used to control them and can be performed by anyone with proper training. A good IPM program attempts to make schools less hospitable to pests by modifying… Read More →

SPN: School IPM Resources

In this edition of School Pest News, I thought I would share a variety of resources that I have sent out over the past month in hopes of helping everyone who might be having trouble with pests or organizing their IPM Program.  Look for the hyperlinks throughout this post, plus any ad Bed Bugs  Next to head lice, bed bugs seems to be the pest that can hitch a ride with anyone or anything.  When this happens most people are not sure what to do.  The best thing… Read More →

SPN: School IPM and Pest Control Recordkeeping

In this newsletter we are going to look at some of the more frequent problems that are encountered during a school integrated pest management (IPM) inspection by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). Texas is one of the few states that require all persons who apply pesticides to hold a noncommercial applicator license if they make applications not just in schools but other locations as well. Under the Occupations Code Chapter 1951 the following employees must be licensed if they apply pesticides: State government employees and/or Persons performing… Read More →

Bugs and basil: Insecticides and veggies don’t always mix

Who wants to eat insecticide?  Not me, and I’m guessing certainly not your customers. So if your company does residential pest control, are your employees trained to know what to do when they encounter a vegetable garden, fruit or nut tree in a backyard?  And are they trained to answer a customer’s questions about the safety of their insecticides around vegetables or herbs? I’m guessing this subject is not commonly addressed in technician training classes. I was asked by an industry sales representative this week: “Is it appropriate… Read More →

SPN: What Worm are You?

Bagworms, webworms, army worms, there are a lot of different “worms” out there that can make your shrubs and trees look unsightly.  Depending on where you live in Texas you might have seen one of them and wonder what you should do about them.  Before you get too confused, while worm is in the name they are really caterpillars.  And we know that caterpillars will cocoon and turn into a moth or butterfly. Bagworms: Bagworms can be seen hanging from the twigs of a variety of trees and shrubs…. Read More →

Water-Wise Tips for Turfgrass

Developed by Becky Grubbs, PhD and Ben Wherley, PhD AggieTurf  to help you manage your turf a water-wise checklist for the hottest and driest months of the year.    Click this link for a downloadable version  Task Reason Additional Resources Mowing Mow at the upper end of the appropriate mowing height range for your species of grass Taller grass = Deeper Roots. Deeper roots can improve overall infiltration and access to water deeper in the soil. For more information on appropriate mowing heights for your species, visit the AggieTurf… Read More →

SPN: New kissing bug guide published to strengthen the fight against Chagas disease

A guide to help battle a potentially fatal disease transferred by a blood-sucking insect called the kissing bug has been published by a task force led by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). While it may not make good bedtime reading, the new image-based guide from the Texas Chagas Task Force could keep you from falling victim to a disease caused by a parasite that the kissing bug carries. The parasite is Trypanosoma cruzi (T.cruzi), and the disease it causes is called Chagas disease…. Read More →

Summer Management Considerations for School Sports Fields

Summer management for both active and inactive sports fields is critical to maintaining healthy, safe fields year-round. Even just light maintenance can make a huge difference in what is possible when school starts again in the fall. Irrigation To prevent surface hardness from creeping up to dangerous levels, regular irrigation is important – even for those fields that remain otherwise inactive during summer months. In many parts of the state where fields are constructed atop our trademark “shrinking and swelling” clays, the lack of irrigation can result in… Read More →

SPN: Preparing for Summer

The school year is rapidly coming to an end and that means cleaning, repairing, and reviewing your IPM records. This newsletter is to help you prepare for the summer and help your IPM program grow. Before school ends be sure to send out an email to your teachers and principals reminding them to take home classroom pets, food items (even the macaroni art), and other personal items you would like out of their classroom. At the same time, you might need to remind them to store those items… Read More →