Author Archives: Natalie Heimann


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Citrus Canker Disease Update

What’s going on? Currently the Texas Department of Agriculture, working with the USDA, has issued a quarantine area in northeast Richmond, Texas to isolate a localized outbreak of Citrus Canker Disease. This factsheet is designed to answer common questions and provide action steps for those in need. What is it? Citrus Canker Disease is caused by a bacterial pathogen. It is a serious disease of all citrus cultivars and some citrus relatives. For more information, visit the link below. Where is it? The current quarantine area is… Read More →

The Zika Virus

by Lisa Rogers Fort Bend Master Gardener By now you have heard of the Zika virus that could potentially be a problem in the United States by the end of summer. A mosquito-transmitted virus identified in the Zika Forest of Uganda in 1947, it was known as a relatively harmless virus causing rashes, inflammation of the eyes and flu-like symptoms. In 2007 during an outbreak in the Pacific Islands, the Zika virus was associated with an increased incidence of Guillain-Barre syndrome—a neurological disease that can cause varying degrees… Read More →

The Walnut Caterpillar, Round 4

By Boone Holladay County Extension Agent-Horticulture As of early July, we are seeing the hatch of the second generation of Walnut Caterpillars feeding on pecan foliage. It is critical for tree health that we address these leaf feeders the best way we can. With the spring floods and now hot and dry conditions, trees are very prone to stress. Leaf loss right now would be devastating to the ongoing health of the trees. For quality control of these pests, you may have to turn to an insecticide product,… Read More →

Coral Drift Roses Survive Memorial Day Flood

By Peggy d’Hemecourt President & Earth-Kind Specialist, Fort Bend Master Gardeners As the saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Unless you’re talking about a plant, in which case you might say “…, the tough keep growing”. That’s what we gardeners hope for when we landscape with tough plants. We expect them to be heat and drought tolerant and resistant to insects and disease. But seldom do we expect tough plants to be flood survivors. That’s exactly what happened though, to many of the… Read More →

“Oh Honey, We’ve Got Bees!!” Swarm Season is Upon Us

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Fort Bend County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Fort Bend County will again offer honeybee swarm traps to the community. For many years, the Extension Service has referred calls to beekeepers for help in dealing with honey bee problems. In cooperation with the Fort Bend Beekeepers Association, the Rosenberg Extension office can now provide a specially constructed trap to lure swarms of honey bees away from homes and structures. Honey bees are cavity nesters and the trap offers a desirable home… Read More →

If You haven’t Already Heard It Through the Grapevine…

By Boone Holladay, Fort Bend County Extension Agent—Horticulture There are a couple standards that Texans live by. First, everything is bigger in Texas. Second, if someone says that it can’t be done in Texas, well, we’ll not only prove them wrong, but we’ll do it bigger, better, bolder, and with a little Texas flare added for good measure. Now with that the stage has been set, let’s talk wine grapes! The viticulture industry in Texas has grown from a tiny niche in the 1980’s up to a big… Read More →

Recent Outbreak of Biting Flies

By John Gordy, Fort Bend County Extension Agent-AG-NR For the last couple of weeks there have been many local reports of and questions about biting “gnats”. Many of the reports indicate that the gnats are biting people during the day – particularly around the neck and head, and leaving persistently itchy swollen areas at the site of the bites. The actual culprits have been one or more species of black fly. Black fly species are small (5 mm or less) and have a characteristic “hump-back”, which is why… Read More →

Insects in the City: Kissing Bugs

By Michael Merchant, Ph.D., Urban Entomologist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Conenose, or kissing bugs (Triatoma sp.), are blood-feeding insects that are an occasional problem in Texas homes. Although conenose bugs bite humans and regularly transmit disease in parts of Latin America, for most U.S. victims the worst consequence is redness and itching at the site of the bite. Identification Conenose bugs are recognized by their elongated or “cone-shaped” head, prominent antennae, pear-shaped body, and spindly, stick-like legs. The body is black or dark brown, 1 to 3 cm… Read More →

Filling in the Blanks

Amy Jo Holdaway, Vegetable Garden Chair – Fort Bend County Master Gardeners January can be a great time for assessing our gardens. As the weather chills and we stroll through our yards, making plans for adding new plants and removing spent ones, and preparing for the coming spring and summer, it can also be a great time to fill in the empty spaces with something beautiful and edible. There are many vegetables that need only 30 days or less before first harvest. Lettuces like Black Seeded Simpson, Parris… Read More →