Author Archives: Natalie Heimann

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 →

Keep a look out for new palm disease

By Boone Holladay, County Extension Agent-Horticulture While attending a Region II TNLA meeting last summer, one of the local members gave a presentation on Palm Fusarium Wilt, a fungal disease specific to a select species of palms. At that time it wasn’t necessarily on the radar of potentially catastrophic landscape plant diseases. Well….it is now! This disease impacts both Queen Palms and Mexican Fan Palms, which happen to be our two most popular landscape palms in Fort Bend County. The disease has been con-firmed in Harris County and… Read More →

It’s pecan season in Fort Bend County!

by Boone Holladay, CEA – Horticulture Fort Bend County Move over pumpkin-spiced products! Pecan flavored coffee and beers, pies and pastries, and a huge range of other pecan themed products are about to make it to the shelves. It’s pecan season in Fort Bend County and across the State. We’ve got big news to share with you concerning pecans in the county. First off, we would like to spend a minute to congratulate local producers for their State award winning pecans! The 2014 Texas State Pecan Show, held… Read More →

Bagworms in the Fall

by Mike Merchant Posted on Insects in the City Blog on September 17, 2015 You’ve been watching your arborvitae all summer and noticing brown, spindle-shaped sacs hanging from the branches. Someone points out to you that these are bagworms, a case-making caterpillar that feeds on leaves and can be highly damaging, especially to ever-green trees and shrubs like arborvitae and cedar. Now it’s late September, what do you do? Before I answer that question, it’s worth pointing out that bagworms are interesting insects with a decidedly non-traditional life… Read More →

Winter Citrus Care

By Deborah Birge; Fort Bend Master Gardener, Citrus Specialist We may still be slogging through high temperatures and relentless humidity but it is time to begin thinking of winterizing our citrus trees. But, before we do that let’s take a look at how our trees are affected by the cold. Lemons, limes and citrons are cold hardy to the high 20’s. All oranges, mandarin, grapefruit, tangerines and tangelos are hardy to the mid-20’s, with kumquats and satsumas the most cold hardy, with-standing temperatures in the low 20’s. However,… Read More →

Landscape and Irrigation Symposium

Topic Lineup: • Return on Investment for Low-Water Landscapes • Integrating Water Savings into Your Business Model • Communicating Water- What’s Your Role and Why? Irrigation Track • Water, Soil Relationship impacts the landscape • Incorporating Rainwater Harvesting into Irrigation Design • Quality Planning and Installation of Low Volume Irrigation Landscape Track • Watering and Plant Health • Growing Business with Industry Programs • Techniques for integrated water management Click here to view the full flyer and download the registration form!

Arctic Frost Satsuma Mandarin Hybrid Named New Texas Superstar

by Robert Burns ,Extension Communication Specialist Adapted by Barbara Buckley, Fort Bend County Master Gardener Satsuma Arctic Frost has been named a Texas Superstar plant by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturists. Arctic Frost is the most cold-hardy satsuma hybrid tested so far, having survived temperatures as low as 9 degrees at the Texas A&M Research and Extension Center test site near Overton, said Dr. Brent Pemberton, AgriLife Research horticulturist and chair of the Texas Superstar executive board, Overton. The board has named… Read More →

The Walnut Caterpillar, Round 3

By Boone Holladay, County Extension Agent-Horticulture & Bill Ree, Pecan IPM Specialist Bill Ree and I have done much scouting and have collected some great data on the Walnut Caterpillars, which have been defoliating pecans in our area since early June. Here are some of our observations that will help you with an action plan.