Category Archives: IPM

Cutworms by Wizzie Brown

It’s That Time of Year for Cutworm Damage Granulate cutworms are damaging in the immature, or larval stage. Cutworms can cut plant seedlings stems off at the soil level and on older plants they can climb the plant and feed on foliage or fruit. Young larvae skeletonize leaves while older larvae eat holes in foliage, feed on the surface of fruit, or burrow into fruit. Larvae are nocturnal, which may make it difficult to discover the culprit of plant damage. You may need to inspect the garden at… Read More →

Insect Life Cycles by Wizzie Brown

. Two Categories of Insect Lifecycles Wizzie is kicking off the year with some basic insect biology about metamorphosis. Insect life cycles can be broken down into two major categories: incomplete and complete. Incomplete can then be further broken into three varying types. Paurometabolous Incomplete metamorphosis, also called paurometabolous, has three life stages. The first stage is the egg which hatches into an immature insect called a nymph. The nymph eats, grows and molts, going through several different nymphal stages called instars. With each successive molt, the nymph… Read More →

Help Overwintering Insects by Wizzie Brown

Provide Shelter for Overwintering Insects If you want to help increase the survival of overwintering insects these next few months, there are some things you can do to provide them with shelter during colder times of the year. Why Bother? First of all, why should you provide shelter for overwintering insects? Not all insects are pests! It is estimated that less than 5% of insect species are considered pests which means the majority of insects are beneficial or just hanging around the landscape. Any of you that have… Read More →

Gossamer Winged Butterflies by Wizzie Brown

Gossamer winged butterflies, family Lycaenidae, are the second largest family of butterflies after Nymphalidae. There are over 6,000 species in the world with over 100 species in North America. Characteristics of Gossamer Winged Butterflies Adults are small, usually under 5 cm, brightly colored, and often metallic. Many species will have tails on the hindwing. The larvae are flattened and slug-like and have a gland that releases a sugary substance similar to honeydew that is used to “bribe” ants for protection. Lycaenindae is split into 7 subfamiles, 3 of… Read More →

Floodwater Mosquitoes by Wizzie Brown

All Abuzz About Mosquitoes If you’ve been outside lately, you have most likely noticed the giant mosquitoes that seem to want to pick people up and carry them off. With recent weather conditions, floodwater mosquitoes have emerged in large numbers. Floodwater mosquitoes lay their eggs above the water line in ponds, ditches, pastures, or other places where water collects. The eggs can remain in dry areas and when these areas are flooded the eggs hatch, leading to swarms of hungry mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are larger than mosquitoes we… Read More →

Chiggers by Wizzie Brown

What Exactly Are Chiggers? Chiggers are the first stage out of the egg of a particular type of mite. They climb onto people and other animals walking through infested areas, crawl upwards, and wander around the body seeking a good site to settle down and feed. Feeding preference for these mites on humans is in areas where skin is thinnest (behind knees, armpits) or where clothing fits tightly, such as the ankles, waist, and the groin area. What Causes All That Itching? Chiggers do not burrow into skin… Read More →

Cicada Killer Wasps by Wizzie Brown

What are these giant wasps?!?!?!?! Cicada killer wasps, common this time of year, are native to Texas.  They are some of the largest wasps that you can find in Texas, reaching up to 1 ½ inches long and can be somewhat frightening if you see them flying about your lawn. Cicada killers have a reddish-brown head and thorax, a black and yellow abdomen, and wings with a rusty tinge.  Only females are capable of stinging because the stinger is a modified egg laying structure. Fortunately, female cicada killer… Read More →

Cactus Bugs by Wizzie Brown

What Are These Bugs on My Cactus?! Cactus coreids or cactus bugs, Chelinidea vittiger, are shield-shaped insects with piercing-sucking mouthparts. They are most commonly red but can vary in color. They have distinctive antennae; if you look at the antennae in cross section, they are triangular in shape. Adults have fully developed wings while immatures, or nymphs, do not and are sometimes mistaken for weevils. Cactus coreids feed in groups on prickly pear cactus. Often the first indication of damage is round, yellowish spots on the cactus pads…. Read More →

Kern’s Flower Beetles by Wizzie Brown

What is This Beetle in My Flowers? Kern’s flower beetles are a type of scarab beetle, closely related to May and June beetles.  They are medium in size, reaching about 1/3 inch in length.  There are multiple color variations ranging from all black, to brownish-orange or creamy white with black markings. Should You Treat for Them? These beetles eat pollen in multiple types of flowers.  Often you will find numerous beetles in a single flower.  Treatment of these beetles is optional as they feed on pollen and typically… Read More →

Forest Tent Caterpillars by Wizzie Brown

Tent Caterpillars Start to Appear in April Forest tent caterpillars cause damage in the larval, or caterpillar, stage. Caterpillars are a greyish- brown color with bright blue and yellow stripes running down the sides of their body. The back of the caterpillar has white shoeprint/ keyhole markings. Larvae also have fine white hairs over their body but are not a stinging caterpillar. These caterpillars, although called tent caterpillars, do not make an actual tent like others in their group. Other tent caterpillars make a web between two branches… Read More →