Category Archives: Extension News

Mike Merchant Receives Specialist of the Year Award During County Agents Annual Meeting

The awards keep coming for Dr. Mike Merchant as he received the District 4 Texas County Agricultural Agents Association’s Specialist of the Year Award during its annual meeting. Merchant is a professor and Extension entomologist currently working at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas. He began his career as an entomologist in 1989 in District 4, which includes the Dallas area, where he started many outreach projects and programs in urban entomology. Merchant was the original author of “Texas Two-Step” method of controlling fire… Read More →

Entomologists, Extension Specialists Learn Latest Research at National Conference on Urban Entomology

Several members from the Department of Entomology joined more than 200 entomologists to share their research during the 2018 National Conference of Urban Entomology and Invasive Pest Ant Conference in May at the Embassy Suites in Cary, North Carolina. The four-day-long conference helps to bring urban and medical entomologists, pest control specialists, and members of the pest control industry together in a common setting to share information and search for new and innovative ways to help control pests that threaten people’s homes and health. During the conference, several… Read More →

AgriLife Extension program bolsters Texas schools’ pest management approach

by Gabe Saldana, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications DALLAS — More than a decade of work alongside Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts in integrated pest management, or IPM, has culminated in national certification of four Texas school districts as “IPM Stars,” said Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension school IPM specialist in Dallas. IPM Star certification from the IPM Institute of North America was awarded in April to Plano, Conroe, East Central and Killeen independent school districts for consistent exemplary marks on the institute’s 37-point evaluation. IPM is the practice… Read More →

Mike Merchant Receives Award for Distinguished Career from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

The Department of Entomology would like to congratulate Professor and AgriLife Extension Specialist Dr. Mike Merchant for receiving the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Superior Service Award for Distinguished Career during a ceremony in Bryan on January 9. Merchant received the award for his outstanding service and commitment to the field of urban entomology for 28 years serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He started as an entomologist in 1989 in the District 4 offices and has been instrumental in starting many important outreach projects and programs in urban… Read More →

New AgriLife Extension Service graphic guides target school pests

by Gabe Saldana, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications DALLAS —Three new infographics and two detailed publications from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service help demystify the best practices for controlling pests in schools, universities and other areas where humans occupy close quarters. “The average person, while not a pest control expert, is definitely affected when an infestation occurs,” said Janet Hurley, AgriLife Extension specialist in school integrated pest management, Dallas. “That means the average person is integral to controlling pests, especially where large groups of people converge.” Hurley, co-author of… Read More →

Website offers critical mosquito, disease information after Hurricane Harvey

by Gabriel Saldana, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications DALLAS — Visitors to the Mosquito Safari website at http://mosquitosafari.tamu.edu will find comprehensive information on common mosquitoes, the diseases they carry and instructions for controlling the pest, said Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologists. They said the information is critical in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, whose initial rains forced mosquitoes from their habitats into human areas, and whose residual standing waters have created new environments for mosquito breeding. “The best thing people can do to fight this pest is to… Read More →

Invasive Bagrada bug may cause ‘stink’ in South Central Texas

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications SAN MARCOS — The Bagrada bug, Bagrada hilaris, an invasive stink bug that has been slowly spreading through the southwestern U.S. for the past decade, has recently been reported in Hays County, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist. “This bug can cause serious crop damage as well as cause damage to plants in commercial nurseries and home gardens and landscapes,” said Molly Keck, AgriLife Extension entomologist and integrated pest management specialist, Bexar County. Keck said adult Bagrada bugs have… Read More →

AgriLife Extension community fire ant control program a template for success

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications ROUND ROCK – For more than a decade, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service integrated pest management program specialist Wizzie Brown has been engaged in a community-wide battle against one of the state’s most persistent pests – the fire ant. Since 2005, Brown and residents of the Wood Glen community in Round Rock, north of Austin, have collaborated in a neighborhood fire ant program to control the proliferation of fire ants, eliminate their unsightly mounds and keep them from biting area residents…. Read More →

Entomology Department Helps Youths Practice for 4-H, FFA Judging Contests with Annual Clinic

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—More than 170 members of the Future Farmers of America and 4-H youth programs statewide and their agricultural science teachers, adult leaders and county agents spent a rainy Saturday morning learning about entomology, entomology contests, and testing their insect identification skills in the Heep Center during the Entomology Judging Clinic on Saturday, March 4. The annual half-day clinic is designed to help 4-H and FFA students with skills to collect, prepare, and identify insects, to learn about their biology and relationships to different environments, all in… Read More →

Extension Names Drake, Gonzales as IPM Agents

The Department of Entomology and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service would like to welcome John David Gonzales and Dr. David Drake as the newest members of the growing statewide integrated pest management group. Gonzales and Drake started their Extension Agent-IPM positions on February 1, with Gonzales serving the Muleshoe area and Drake serving the Commerce area. Gonzales replaced Erin Jones while Drake replaced Dr. Jim Swart after he retired in December 2014. Before joining the Commerce position, Drake worked as an Extension Agronomist for 8 years at the… Read More →