Author Archives: Rob Williams

Sugarcane aphids confirmed on Southern High Plains

By Steve Byrns, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications September 12, 2014 Floyd County find is region’s first FLOYDADA — They’re hundreds of miles from the nearest sugarcane fields, nevertheless sugarcane aphids have now been positively identified in significant numbers on grain sorghum in Floyd County, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist. The confirmation near the Briscoe and Swisher county lines is the first positive identification of a sizable population on the Southern High Plains, said Dr. Charles Allen, AgriLife Extension’s state integrated pest management coordinator at San… Read More →

Sugarcane aphids identified west of I-35 in Texas for first time

by Kathleen Phillips, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications COLEMAN — Sugarcane aphids have been identified on sorghum in San Saba and Coleman counties, marking the first time the insect has been found west of Interstate-35, according to Dr. Charles Allen, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service statewide integrated pest management coordinator, San Angelo. AgriLife Extension agents Rick Minzenmayer of Ballinger, Neal Alexander of San Saba and Michael Palmer of Coleman have found sugarcane aphid in sorghum fields near San Saba and Coleman, Allen said. “Finding sugarcane aphid further west does… Read More →

AgriLife Extension expert: Browning of cedar trees in Central Texas likely due to budworm

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications AUSTIN – If you live in South Central Texas and have noticed cedar trees turning brown, it is likely due to a new infestation of juniper budworms, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist. “Many people in this area have noticed their Ashe juniper trees, commonly called cedar, turning brown,” said Wizzie Brown, AgriLife Extension integrated pest management program specialist for Travis County. “This most likely is being caused by juniper budworms. There was an outbreak of these insects in… Read More →

2013 Texas IPM Annual Report

Texas IPM 2013 Annual Report

Scientists warning growers about explosive populations of new grain sorghum pest

by Rod Santa Ana, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications WESLACO  –  Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service scientists are warning South Texas grain sorghum producers to be on the lookout for a new insect pest that, left unchecked, could wipe out their entire crop. Dr. Raul Villanueva, an AgriLife Extension entomologist, and Danielle Sekula-Ortiz, an AgriLife Extension integrated pest management agent, say that in recent weeks they have documented explosive populations of sugarcane aphids at levels never seen here before. To more fully explain to growers the situation, biology and… Read More →

New crape myrtle pest hits Dallas area

Threat could spread, experts warn  by:  Steve Byrns, 325-653-4576, DALLAS – Crape myrtle, a much used Texas landscape plant, is under threat from a new type of scale invader, said two Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts. Dr. Mike Merchant, AgriLife Extension urban entomologist at Dallas, said the new scale pest turns the bark of crape myrtle trees an ugly black color, and will be bad news to owners of these otherwise beautiful landscape plants. “We are still figuring out the identity of this insect, but we believe… Read More →

Mysterious pest threatens Texas’ billion dollar grain sorghum crop

by Rod Santa Ana WESLACO  –  A tiny insect of unknown origin is posing a serious threat to the billion dollar Texas grain sorghum crop, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts. The threat comes at a time when a lingering drought and market pressures suggest growers will plant a larger than normal crop this year. “For now, we’re calling this pest the sugarcane aphid,” said Dr. Raul Villanueva, an entomologist at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco. “It was first seen last… Read More →

Department, Extension Welcomes Brad Easterling to IPM Program

The Department of Entomology at Texas A&M and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service welcomes Brad Easterling to the Statewide Integrated Pest Management program. Easterling joined the Garden City Extension Agent-IPM position on January 2, replacing the vacant position that was previously held by Warren Multer, who retired on March 31, 2013. He will be serving the Glasscock/Reagan/Upton County area, which encompasses Garden City. Easterling received a Master of Science degree in Agriculture Science from Texas A&M University – Kingsville in 2007 and a Bachelor of Science in… Read More →

Extension Entomologists Launch Website for West Nile Information

STEPHENVILLE, Texas – The summer months usually bring barbecues and swimming pools, and the start of mosquito season. To help keep residents safe and informed, entomologists at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service recently launched a special website portal called for information on West Nile Virus, mosquitoes and mosquito prevention. The idea to start the site came about after receiving many calls on requests for information during the 2012 mosquito season due to the record number of cases of West Nile . Assistant Professor and Extension Entomologist… Read More →

South Texas rains incite insects, delay summer harvest

Residents warned to be on the lookout for mosquitoes and flying ants, termites Writer: Rod Santa Ana, 956-878-8317, Contacts: Dr. Raul Villanueva, 956-968-5581, Dr. Juan Anciso, 956-968-5581, WESLACO  –  Rains that fell April 28 have temporarily slowed the harvest of citrus and vegetable crops in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and will likely increase the activity of mosquitoes and termites, according to experts at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco. “We got anywhere from an inch to as much as 6… Read More →