Category Archives: IPM

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 →

Ants and Termite Swarmers ID by Wizzie Brown

Watch for Flying Objects Soon it will be time for swarming insects to emerge out from their homes in the ground and fly into the air in search of a mate. Usually, this event coincides with warm temperatures and a significant rainfall event but can also occur if you forget to turn off your irrigation system. “Swarmer” or “alate” are other terms that describe the reproductive stage of ants and termites. These insects have wings when they initially leave the colony, but the wings are either shed or… Read More →