Flies, odors and neighbors — oh my. During the Technology Tuesday webinar sponsored by the Penn State Dairy Team, the topic turned from cow comfort to tackle another farm issue, flies and odors. Robert Graves, professor of agricultural engineering at Penn State, said the goal is to keep flies and odor-making microbes “uncomfortable.” Unhappy flies and other pests mean smaller populations.
Having been a county Extension director in Lebanon County for the past 12 years, Winifred McGee has had to split her time wisely between her administrative duties and providing programs to the public. But with recent changes to Penn State’s Extension system, McGee is returning to her first love — focusing solely on education.
The controversy over possible links between massive bee die-offs and agricultural pesticides has overshadowed another threat: the use of those same pesticides in backyards and gardens. Neonicotinoid pesticides are ubiquitous in everday consumer plant treatments, and may expose bees to far higher doses than those found on farms, where neonicotinoids used in seed coatings are already considered a major problem by many scientists.
The PA IPM News Spring 2012 edition is now available as a downloadable PDF file and includes articles on bed bugs, ants, Christmas tree scouting reports, green cleaning products, West Nile virus and more.
Sunshine dappled the surface of Lake Scranton and the sky was pastel blue, but Erin McBride found herself running through a black cloud on her daily jog. "This is the worst I've seen it so far this year," the 25-year-old Old Forge native said after her run Tuesday. "It was definitely a cloud (of insects). I had to keep my head down to keep from getting them in my eyes and mouth."
A scientist believes people living in the Northeast might be at greater risk of contracting Lyme disease this year than ever before. That's the unsettling assessment by Richard S. Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y.
A weed couldn't ask for better weather than we've had so far this year. The same extraordinarily warm start that had our dogwoods blooming three weeks early has been a boon to weeds as well -- especially ones that sprout from seed in late winter to early spring.
Pennsylvania’s state tree — the eastern hemlock — is threatened by a bug in about three-quarters of counties. Local farmers hope to draw attention to the problem, and Penn State researchers are working to find a natural enemy to combat the bug — the hemlock woolly adelgid.
A mild winter and balmy spring temperatures means increasing mosquito populations and the diseases they carry, including West Nile Virus.
Penn State University, teamed with Parks Pest Control and Orkin, is using whole room heat to control the bedbug infestations in dorm rooms.
Researchers in Pennsylvania and Michigan have started a full-court press in providing growers with information on the latest pest monitoring and control tips.
The warmer than usual winter and balmy start to spring has Beth Gugino, plant pathologist at Penn State, concerned about pathogens that may have lived on plant tissue that didn’t die over winter.
When Donna Fisher's 12-year-old son, Matthew, woke up one morning complaining of back pain, she thought he had just slept awkwardly. "I started to rub his back and he said, 'You have to stop — that hurts,' " said Fisher, a New Kensington resident. When Fisher called to check on him later that day, Matthew said his older brother, Sean, told him he had a blackhead on his back.
Because of the very mild winter, some of the area's most annoying pests never went dormant, making this spring "horrendous" for ticks and fleas, one local doctor says. The size and strength of the stink bug population is left up to anyone's guess.
A manufacturer has pulled a controversial pesticide from the American market, surprising both growers and environmentalists who have warned that it poses serious hazards.
Monday night was sleepless for Adam Voll, who spent the wee hours fanning apple trees and irrigating peach trees at his family's farm in Butler County, where the temperature fell to 19 degrees, damaging at least some of the crops.
Although the growing season hasn’t even started, there’s already a bumper crop — of a critter that really ticks people off.
Warm weather beckons us outdoors. It also brings out the bugs. Both of them together can be a dangerous combination. Especially if it's blood-sucking deer ticks that latch themselves onto your skin and can cause a painful and debilitating disease.
Christmas tree scouting reports for the 2012 growing season are now available online at the Pennsylvania IPM Program's website and on the 1-800 PENN IPM hotline.
A mild winter that’s ending with an early warm-up can be a great thing for sun lovers and folks with an aversion to the cold. But it can also cause some problems: • a potential for ruined fruit crops. • an early start for some allergies. • and the early appearance of some stinging insects.