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Outdoors & Environment

Spring: Prime Time for Kudzu Bugs

Auburn, AL—Residential and rural areas will soon be filled with kudzu bugs making a comeback from their overwintering sites. Alabama Extension Entomologist Xing Ping Hu, said there are several ways for kudzu bugs to bother homeowners. “Kudzu bugs are a nuisance that invades homes, yards and landscapes,” Hu  said. “They are more problematic in later fall when they seek protected ... Read More »

Widespread Zika outbreak unlikely in United States

AUBURN, Ala.—Public health officials are working to contain an outbreak of Zika virus across Central and South America. But scientists at Auburn University do not believe that the United States will face the disease in the numbers appearing in Brazil and other Central and South American nations. Dr. Derrick Mathias, an assistant professor specializing in medical entomology at Auburn University, ... Read More »

All in a Name: Woodchuck, Ground Hog or Whistle Pig

AUBURN, Ala.—Will the woodchuck see his shadow? How much wood would a groundhog chuck? It is not a case of mixed metaphors, but rather multiple names for the same animal. Dr. Mark Smith, a wildlife scientist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, says the barrel-shaped mammal answers to a number of names. “The Latin name is Marmota monax, but people ... Read More »

Got to Go Geocaching

geocaching

AUBURN, Ala.–Television and movies are filled with adventurous hunts for missing treasure. Have you ever wished you could take part in it? What if you can? What if there is hidden treasure all around you? Geocaching is the modern-day treasure-hunting game. Geocaching utilizes the Global Positioning System (GPS) to navigate players to a geocache location. “The geocaches are usually located ... Read More »

Re-purposing Your Christmas Tree this Season

Christmas Tree

AUBURN, Ala. – When the Christmas season is over and you have packed your decorations away for another year, you still have to figure out what to do with your dried up, old Christmas tree. Many people chip their tree into mulch for use in planting beds but this year find a new purpose for your tree. One way to ... Read More »

Outdoor Etiquette: Mind Your Manners

outdoor etiquette

AUBURN, Ala.-People think of etiquette as something used at a dinner table, but etiquette is an important element of many outdoor activities. Hunting, fishing, hiking and even walking your dog all have an etiquette that you should follow. When you are hunting, do you know where you are hunting? Do you have permission to be on that property? Are you cleaning up ... Read More »

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 »