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Outdoors & Environment

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 »

Alabama’s Peak Fall Colors

AUBURN, AL—.—October has arrived and with it comes the beauty of the fall. The leaves will paint their yearly masterpiece composed of majestic purples, vibrant oranges, golden yellows and deep reds onto mountainsides all across the country. Alabama’s beauty is unique and plentiful, but the foothills in Northern Alabama bring in tourists from all over the country to watch the leaf ... Read More »

Hurricane Season: What Does It Mean For Us?

Natural disasters can come with or without warning. Hurricanes can luckily be forecasted with  accuracy, and people often have multiple days to prepare for a storm. Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30. With hurricane season now in full swing, it is always good to be prepared. This reminder comes at an important landmark, with the 10th anniversary ... Read More »

State Parks Provide an Outlet for Adventure

Entrance to Chewacla State Park

AUBURN, Alabama–Seventy-six years ago,  the Department of Conservation Act was signed into law by Frank Dixon, the governor at the time, officially creating the Alabama State Park system and providing countless opportunities for the people of Alabama to experience nature. Since then, the number of state parks has increased to 28, not including the numerous other wildlife management areas. “The cool thing ... Read More »

Local Honey Yields Sweet Benefits

Image by shutterstock.com/grafvision.

AUBURN, Ala. — September is National Honey Month, and Alabama is home to more than 600 registered beekeepers. According to the Department of Agriculture and Industries, this number has fallen but still provides Alabama residents with a variety of options to obtain local honey. A Rise in Popularity Alabama Extension Regional Home Grounds Agent Dani Carroll said the rise in beekeeping ... Read More »

The Buzz on Backyard Beekeeping

Photo by: shutterstock.com/AubordDulac

AUBURN, Ala. — Backyard beekeeping has caught the attention of homeowners and gardeners across the United States, following in the wake of the Green Revolution and Eat Local movements. With the colony collapse disasters in 2006 leaving honeybee populations at an all-time low, gardeners decided to take matters into their own hands by planting pollinator gardens and becoming backyard beekeepers. ... Read More »

Beating Fire Ants This Fall

Falling into fall sounds like a great idea — unless falling includes a run in with the Imported Fire Ant. Pest-proofing your home is a multi-step process that includes treating outdoor areas as well as indoor areas. The following five tips can help you and your family avoid unwanted visitors this fall. Fall is a great time to treat fire ... Read More »