Category Archives: News

Pietrantonio’s Fire Ant Research Featured in Podcast

Texas A&M Entomology professor Dr. Patricia Pietrantonio’s fire ant research project was recently featured in a video posted by the science media podcast website EarthSky. The podcast is located at http://earthsky.org/earth/science-fights-to-control-fire-ants, highlights the destructive impact of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta Buren) and the ongoing basic research efforts to conceive better strategies to control this pest. Pietrantonio’s National Science Foundation-funded project, titled “Neuropeptide Receptors and Identification of Genes in Signaling Networks Involved in Reproduction and Nutrition in the Red Imported Fire Ant”, focuses on localizing the neuropeptide… Read More →

Cooler temperatures often move critters inside

Writer: Steve Byrns, 325-653-4576, s-byrns@tamu.edu Elizabeth “Wizzie” Brown, 512-854-9600,  ebrown@ag.tamu.edu AUSTIN – Hungry hoards of mosquitoes, katydids, crickets, grasshoppers and other assorted pests-Texans have pretty much seen them all this summer, but will the onslaught stop once cooler weather hits? “The bugs of summer will subside, but a new slate is ready and willing to move right in with you,” said “Wizzie” Brown, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service integrated pest management specialist at Austin. “Usually during drought conditions or when the weather begins to get cooler insects and… Read More →

Entomologist testing puts bite on many ‘home’ fire ant treatments

AUSTIN – Resourceful individuals have tried many  different “home” treatments for fire ant control, but unfortunately lots of them simply don’t pass the science test, according to a Texas AgriLife Extension Service entomologist. Wizzie Brown, integrated pest management specialist for AgriLife Extension in Travis County, has been putting alternative, non-chemical means of fire ant management to the test for the past few years. She now has collected objective, science-based data to either support or reject claims about the efficacy of some of these proposed home treatments. “I’ve previously… Read More →

Fire ants’ ‘aphid-ranching’ skills may be key to their successful U.S. invasion

January 3, 2012 By: Steve Byrns COLLEGE STATION – Like Old West cattle barons in a B-western, red imported fire ants are expanding their range and increasing their herds while laying wholesale waste to the range, according to an expert on the issue. Dr. Micky Eubanks, a Texas AgriLife Research entomologist at College Station, said the ants are using a practice known as “mutualism” to help them thrive despite the estimated $1 billion Americans pour into controlling them annually. “Mutualisms play key roles in the functioning of ecosystems,”… Read More →