insects http://kut.org en We Learned What It's Like to Be a Beekeeper (and Only Got Stung Once) http://kut.org/post/we-learned-what-its-be-beekeeper-and-only-got-stung-once <p>KUT reporters are in “Summer School.” Every Friday, KUT reporters will learn a new skill or craft from folks around town who are experts in that field.</p><p>In this class, KUT's Laura Rice takes Beekeeping 101 with a local hive owner.</p><p>Lily Rosenman was our teacher. She's been beekeeping in Austin for four years. Right now, Rosenman keeps her hive at her friend Anne Woods's&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">home in&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">East Austin.</span><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/155262265&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 20:30:00 +0000 Laura Rice 10638 at http://kut.org We Learned What It's Like to Be a Beekeeper (and Only Got Stung Once) What Is That Webby Stuff on Austin Trees? http://kut.org/post/what-webby-stuff-austin-trees <p>It’s not yet autumn but fall webworms are showing up on trees across Central Texas.</p><p>The caterpillars form webbing on leaves – and spend much of their lives eating those leaves.</p><p>"Typically people notice they have fall webworms when they start to see the webbing actually starting to cover the tips of the branches and, if they look closely at those webs or they break open those webs, they'll actually see the caterpillars inside," Wizzie Brown says.</p><p> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 18:00:03 +0000 Laura Rice 10624 at http://kut.org What Is That Webby Stuff on Austin Trees? Find an Insect Like This? Don't Kill It – It's Killing Your Cockroaches http://kut.org/post/find-insect-dont-kill-it-its-killing-your-cockroaches <p><em>Story originally published Jan. 2, 2014.</em></p><p>It’s that time of year when insects want to get out of the cold and into your house.</p><p>Most people aren’t big fans of sharing their space with these creepy-crawlers. But if you see one particular insect – you’re better off <em>not</em> grabbing the bug spray.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/127608802&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe> Tue, 21 Jan 2014 14:05:00 +0000 Laura Rice 9290 at http://kut.org Find an Insect Like This? Don't Kill It – It's Killing Your Cockroaches Buzz Off: Bedbugs Unfazed by Ultrasonic Devices http://kut.org/post/buzz-bedbugs-unfazed-ultrasonic-devices With bedbugs bunking just about everywhere these days, people battling the bloodsucking insects may be tempted to try their hand at driving them away.<p>But ultrasonic bug zappers, which retail for less than $25, aren't the solution, say entomologists who tested some of the devices.<p>"I can understand on a personal level how you would want to go to great lengths and get rid of them and protect yourself," says Kasey Yturralde, a grad student in entomology at Northern Arizona University. She had a memorable trip back in 2006 when she ran into them while visiting a friend. Mon, 10 Dec 2012 19:00:18 +0000 5864 at http://kut.org Buzz Off: Bedbugs Unfazed by Ultrasonic Devices Two More West Nile Deaths in Travis County (Updated) http://kut.org/post/two-more-west-nile-deaths-travis-county-updated <p><strong><em>Update: Nov. 11, 1:09 p.m.:</em></strong></p><p>Dr. Philip Huang is the Medical Director for Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services. He says there are still some people in the county who are very sick from the virus but he’s hopeful the death total won’t continue to rise.</p><p>Dr. Huang says it’s not clear if West Nile will be as big of a problem next year.</p><p>“This particular season with the warmer winter and then some of the spring rains seemed to be sort of the conditions that really promoted West Nile activity," Huang says. "So we don’t know how things are going to be next year. But I think there’s certainly some concern that there is going to be for the future continued increase in some mosquito activity and things in the Austin-Travis County area.”</p><p>Huang says the county has found mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile as recently as late October. Wed, 14 Nov 2012 19:09:27 +0000 Laura Rice 5631 at http://kut.org Two More West Nile Deaths in Travis County (Updated) Rain Could Boost Mosquito Population http://kut.org/post/rain-could-boost-mosquito-population <p>The <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/am-update-rainfall-totals-health-mosquito-spraying-diez-y-seis-events" target="_blank">weekend rain</a> may have killed off some adult mosquitoes. But now it means a potential boom for mosquito breeding as standing water collects.</p><p>Experts say it’s a good idea to dump any standing water around your home—especially as <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/third-travis-county-west-nile-death-confirmed" target="_blank">West Nile virus continues to be a problem</a> in the area.</p><p>“One thing that we may have going for us right now is that the temperature has dropped which will take a longer period for those mosquitoes to develop and so the water might dry up in time so that we don’t have quite as many emerging out,” Texas AgriLife Extension Office Program Specialist Wizzie Brown says.</p><p> Mon, 17 Sep 2012 18:17:39 +0000 Laura Rice 5094 at http://kut.org Rain Could Boost Mosquito Population Texas Can't Swat Its West Nile Outbreak http://kut.org/post/texas-cant-swat-its-west-nile-outbreak <p>The Texas Department of State Health Services say the number of <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/why-west-nile-virus-hitting-texas-so-hard" target="_blank">West Nile virus cases and deaths in the state</a> have more than doubled over the past two weeks.</p><p>The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Texas continues to lead the country in the number of cases of West Nile. <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2012/t0829_west_nile_update.html" target="_blank">According to the CDC</a>, nearly 800 people across the state have been infected. More than 30 have died.</p><p>The outbreak continues to be centered around the Dallas area but Travis and Williamson counties have seen a combined total of 42 confirmed cases<a href="http://kutnews.org/post/am-update-west-nile-death-williamson-co-water-restriction-changes-funeral-slain-constable" target="_blank"> including two deaths</a>. Thu, 30 Aug 2012 20:00:27 +0000 Laura Rice 4989 at http://kut.org Texas Can't Swat Its West Nile Outbreak Why is West Nile Virus Hitting Texas so Hard? http://kut.org/post/why-west-nile-virus-hitting-texas-so-hard <p>Texas has seen <a href="http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/arboviral/westnile/" target="_blank">more than 600 West Nile Virus cases</a> so far this year. That’s more than any other state in the country and almost of half of the total cases in the nation.</p><p>The Dallas area has seen by far the largest number of infections and deaths related to the disease. Eleven people have died from West Nile Virus in Dallas County alone.</p><p>But there’s <a href="http://keranews.org/post/cdc-says-west-nile-dfw-not-over" target="_blank">no clear reason why</a> the outbreak has been so severe in North Texas.</p><p>“The available information indicates that the numbers of reported cases are trending upward in most areas, including Texas,” says Dr. Lyle Peterson with the Centers for Disease Control. Thu, 23 Aug 2012 16:05:51 +0000 Courtney Collins, KERA & Laura Rice 4936 at http://kut.org Why is West Nile Virus Hitting Texas so Hard? A 'Crazy' Ant Invasion? http://kut.org/post/crazy-ant-invasion <p>The <a href="http://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/" target="_blank">Texas AgriLife Extension Office</a> is tracking an insect new to Central Texas &ndash; a type of ant. It doesn&rsquo;t sting like the fire ant but it can cause its own set of problems.</p><p>It&#39;s called the <a href="http://urbanentomology.tamu.edu/ants/rasberry.html" target="_blank">Rasberry crazy ant</a>.</p><p>No, it doesn&#39;t like raspberries. The breed was actually discovered by <a href="http://www.rasberrycrazyants.com/about-tom-rasberry.htm" target="_blank">a guy whose last name is Rasberry</a>. And the &quot;crazy&quot; part? Well the reddish-brown, eighth-of-an-inch long ant is a prodigious breeder. Which means a small hill can turn into a full on home invasion very quickly. Mon, 13 Aug 2012 20:43:38 +0000 Laura Rice 4868 at http://kut.org A 'Crazy' Ant Invasion? Pflugerville Bee Attack Has Central Texans on Alert http://kut.org/post/pflugerville-bee-attack-has-central-texans-alert <p>A 40-year old man is now in stable condition after he was stung by bees about 300 times this morning in Pflugerville.</p><p>The Texas AgriLife Extension Office says they&rsquo;re seeing higher populations of most types of insects this year &ndash; including aphids, cicadas and bees.</p><p>&ldquo;Since we&rsquo;ve been having more rain this year, there have been more plants available as a food source and the honey bees have an opportunity to collect nectar so there do tend to me more numbers &ndash; I&rsquo;ve been getting more calls on bees than I have in the past few years,&quot; Extension Program Specialist Wizzie Brown says. Wed, 08 Aug 2012 19:18:36 +0000 Laura Rice 4837 at http://kut.org Pflugerville Bee Attack Has Central Texans on Alert