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Outdoors & Environment

Furor over Kissing Bugs Unwarranted

kissing bug

Kissing bugs and Chagas disease posts and shares swept across social media like wildfire just before Thanksgiving. Alabama Extension professionals across the state were inundated with calls, emails and texts from citizens worried about both the disease and how to identify the insect. “People saw a headline or the title of a post and really reacted strongly and quickly,” said ... Read More »

Oh Deer: The Benefits of Hunting

Saturdays are filled with football, candy corn has returned, and the nights are getting cooler, which all can only mean one thing: hunting season is right around the corner. Soon the boys will be cleaning their rifles and the girls will be tightening their bows, all in hopes to tag the buck they’ve been watching on their trail camera all year. Unfortunately, it is ... Read More »

Hunters Beware of Ticks in the Woods

AUBURN, Ala.— Before venturing into the woods this hunting season, it is important that hunters are educated on the dangers of ticks and know how to avoid them. “Many hunters are complaining that ticks have become a fact of life in the outdoors,” said Dr. Xing Ping Hu an Alabama Cooperative Extension specialist and professor in Auburn University’s Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. ... Read More »

Insect Invasion: The Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle

AUBURN,Ala.—Multicolored Asian lady beetles, more commonly referred to as ladybugs, are generally thought to bring good luck but it’s not so lucky when these tiny spotted insects invade your home. When the temperature begins to drop, ladybugs want to find warmer ground to hibernate. They are notorious for congregating in hundreds or even thousands on the sides of buildings and ... Read More »

Keep Pests Out of Your Attic

AUBURN, Ala.–By not doing one minor house repair, you could potentially be offering an open door to unwanted visitors such as squirrels, bats, raccoons, rats and snakes in your home. Many people that have this issue ask the questions — How do these animals get in? Why do they get in? What are the possible threats? How can I tell if I ... Read More »

Food safety when Dressing and Preparing Deer Meat

AUBURN, Ala.–With deer hunting season quickly approaching, hunters need to be reminded of some basic food safety tips to ensure they prepare venison properly. Janice Hall, a regional Extension agent in Food Safety and Quality with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, has some hints to prevent contamination and improper food handling when dressing and cooking deer meat.   Always wear gloves ... Read More »

Keeping Creepy-Crawlies Out of your Home

Wolf Spider. Photo courtesy of Joseph Berger, bugwood.org

AUBURN, Ala.—Fall weather brings cooler temperatures and beautiful outdoor weather. It also brings spiders and insects looking for a warm place to overwinter. These creepy-crawlies can cause an issue if the right preventative measures are not taken. Alabama Extension Entomology and Plant Pathology Specialist, Dr. Xing Ping Hu, said most of the spiders entering a home are timid and nocturnal, likely ... Read More »

Beware — It’s the Zombie Ant Apocalypse!

AUBURN, Ala. — Movie theaters aren’t the only places featuring zombies throughout the month of October. Phorid flies are scouting out fire ant mounds, seeking to form armies of zombie ants. Some species of phorid flies, native to South America, naturally target fire ants as a laying ground for their eggs. Of the more than 4,000 species of phorid flies, nearly 20 ... Read More »

Fire Ants Riding Flood Waters

AUBURN, Ala. — Following a flood, humans and insects are generally forced from their homes in search of dry ground. In many Southern areas where Imported Red Fire Ants are common, the displacement of the insects can lead to potentially serious medical issues. Why Do Fire Ants Float? Floodwaters do not kill fire ants. Instead, these insects crawl out of their ... Read More »

Safety First: Staying Safe this Hunting Season

AUBURN, Ala. — It’s that time of year again–the time for football, falling leaves and family. But for many people, fall means one thing in particular–hunting season. Although hunting is a popular activity, it can be a dangerous one, too. “Hunting is one of the safest outdoor activities because most hunters realize their responsibility to be safe,” said Dr. Jim ... Read More »