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Outdoors & Environment

Composting Good for Environment and Homeowners

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – Alabama produces around 2.6 million tons of solid waste every year. Roughly 20 percent of that amount is made up of lawn and garden wastes – grass clippings, leaves, tree and/or shrub prunings, home garden refuse and kitchen wastes. Composting is becoming a growing trend for homeowners to reduce the amount of waste. Start a Compost ... Read More »

Vibrantly-colored Leaves Are Falling

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala.—Now that fall has arrived in Alabama, temperatures are dropping and leaves are changing colors. Vibrant red, sunny yellow and bright orange leaves are falling. The colors should peak in early or mid-November, depending on the amount of cool weather between now and then. Why does leaf color change in the fall? Green and Yellow Leaves “The green ... Read More »

The Whoo: Owls of Alabama

AUBURN, Ala. – Have you ever been outside at night and heard a soft hoot coming out of the darkness? It was probably one of the several species of owls that call Alabama home. There are several things that people can look for to help identify what owl is hooting in their backyard. Species Dr. Jim Armstrong, an Alabama Extension wildlife ... Read More »

In Alabama, Fall Brings More Aggressive Wasps and Hornets

AUBURN, Ala. – Fall is the peak season for yellow jackets and hornets in Alabama. Many people encounter and experience painful stings from these wasps during outdoor activities. Dr. Xing Ping Hu, an Alabama Extension entomologist, said hornets and yellow jackets are the most common wasp groups. Safety With the exception of honeybees, all female and worker wasps and bees can ... Read More »

Fall Flea Surge: Control Fleas Indoors and Outdoors

AUBURN, Ala. – Fleas are some of the most annoying biting pests known to man and pets. Knowing how to control fleas both indoors and outdoors will make life easier for humans and pets. Characteristics Fleas occur year-round but may go dormant during an extremely hot summer or cold winter. Dr. Xing Ping Hu, an Alabama Extension entomologist, said that ... Read More »

Protect Backyard Bees During Tropical Storms

AUBURN, Ala.—Tropical Storm Gordon is expected to make landfall along the Gulf Coast tonight. Gordon could be a tropical storm or even a low end hurricane. In either event, backyard beekeepers may notice buzzing around the hive quiets down. Like other animals, bees sense changes in their environment. Dr. Geoffrey Williams, an assistant professor in the Auburn University College of ... Read More »

Alabama Extension Partners With Alabama State Parks

AUBURN, Ala. –Alabama Extension and the Alabama State Parks are partnering to educate the public about venomous snakes in Alabama. The state parks will distribute a card that identifies venomous snakes found in Alabama to visitors at the parks throughout the state. Dr. Gary Lemme, Alabama Cooperative Extension System director, said the goal of this partnership is to educate the people ... Read More »

Common Digging Pests In Yards

AUBURN, Ala. – Homeowners often find evidence of animals digging in their yards. Squirrels, chipmunks, armadillos and moles are often the culprits. An Extension specialist offers tips on controlling these animals from destroying yards. Identifying Pests Dr. Jim Armstrong, an Alabama Extension wildlife specialist, said the first rule of protecting a yard is identifying the animal. “Once you know which animal is causing ... Read More »

Bird Feeding Tips for the Backyard Birder

AUBURN, Ala.— More than 62 million Americans enjoy feeding birds and attracting them to their homes. Alabama has a diverse gathering of different species of birds, making bird feeding in the state a popular activity. In addition to the birds that call Alabama home, many migrants birds flock to the area to spend their winter. Bird feeders provide many hours ... Read More »

Which Bodies of Water Present an Elevated Health Hazard?

AUBURN, Ala. – Alabama has many lakes, rivers and streams. This makes fishing a popular sport and recreational activity. Sometimes certain toxic chemicals find their way into some bodies of water. Fish in these areas may have levels of these chemicals in their system. The Alabama Department of Public Health publishes an annual fish consumption advisory booklet to inform people ... Read More »