Author Archives: janet.hurley

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 →

SPN: Mosquitoes and West Nile Virus is on the rise.

According to the calendar we are entering the season of fall. For Texans, this means football (hopefully) and  battling mosquitoes on your campuses. This particular insects will make you itch, scratch, and sometimes even say bad words. With the help of Dr. Sonja Swiger,Associate Professor & Veterinary/Medical Extension Entomologist, AgriLife Extension this article will help explain the symptoms of West Nile Virus and encephalitis, what schools need to know about basic mosquito management and additional resources to help educate you and your staff.   Mosquitoes are of concern in… Read More →

Apply fall preemergence herbicide to avoid spring weeds

As soil temperatures cool, now is the time to plan for preemergence herbicide applications to eradicate common cool-season weeds like annual bluegrass and lawn burweed, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. Chrissie Segars, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension turfgrass specialist, Dallas, said homeowners looking to improve the look and feel of their lawns by preventing annual weeds and burs should prepare to apply fall preemergence herbicides. Preemergence herbicides are designed to disrupt the germination and emergence of unfavorable plants. Other fall and winter management practices like proper irrigation will… Read More →

How Texas became leader in safe public school pest management

Anyone returning to a Texas public school this semester is safer from pests and pesticides, thanks to a host of integrated pest control practices required by the state and taught to licensed professionals by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Requirements for integrated pest management, or IPM, in Texas schools were passed by the Texas Legislature in 1991. IPM is the practice of controlling pests with alternatives to pesticide. It employs other methods that consider environmental safety and human health. New laws, shift in focus By the time… Read More →

SPN: Save the date for future trainings and more

In the fast-changing world, we are living in I am going to devote this newsletter to a variety of resources and upcoming trainings to help you navigate through these difficult times. Over the summer, Shelly Branstetter, Membership Services Manager, TASB Facility Services; Joanie Arrott, Risk Prevention Services Manager, TASB Risk Management Services and I have been distance meeting to see how our groups can help better support you our clients. On Tuesday, September 10, 2020 from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM we will host our first webinar –… Read More →

SPN: School reopening does any of this impact my IPM and IAQ program?

As everyone is trying to figure out how to educate children during the COVID-19 pandemic, the question on everyone’s mind is how to do this by keeping schools clean? The guidelines from CDC, For a Safe Return to School in Fall 2020 and the Texas Education Agency’s two documents Public Health Planning Guidance and School Reopening Guidance Summary give some advice on how to open your school; however, it’s limited in the actual directions of what, where, and when to clean. In an IPM program the first step… Read More →

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 →