Monday, April 28, 2014

New Video Shows How to Manage Bed Bugs without Harmful Pesticides

The Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides recently released a very informative 12-minute video on how to manage bed bugs without using harmful (and often ineffective) pesticide foggers or sprays.

Produced with funding from the Western IPM Center, the video shows how to identify bed bugs, treat infestations, and - best yet - prevent getting bed bugs in the first place.
Watch it here.

An earlier video by the Northwest Center shows how to make a bed bug trap. Check that one out here.

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Roundup of Interesting Ag News on National Beer Day

Several interesting stories passed across our desks here this morning, and instead of picking one to share, we decided to do a sampler pack.

Cracking in the Delta Mendota Canal as a result of groundwater pumping.
First, and closest to the Western IPM Center's office in Davis, is a long story in the Sacramento Bee about unregulated groundwater pumping in California's San Joaquin Valley, and the subsidence it's causing. (Near the town of El Nido, the ground is sinking at a rate of nearly a foot a year.) Read the story here.

The Bagrada bug

More directly IPM related is a story out of New Mexico about the Bagrada hilaris, a stink bug from southern Africa that's made its way to the United States and enjoys Brassica crops such as bok choy, cabbage and broccoli. Unfortunately, there aren't good ways for small organic growers to manage the pest, but IPM researchers in New Mexico are actively working on it. Read the story in the Albuquerque Journal here.

In the Belfast Telegraph there's a story about a threat to global banana production from a strain of the fungus know as Panama disease tropical race 4. According to a United Nation's Food and Agriculture organization report quoted in the story, the fungus is spreading among the world's top banana-producing regions, has no effective treatment and can potentially threaten a large portion of worldwide banana production. An industry official quoted in the story, however, seemed less alarmed. Check it out for yourself here.

There was also more press recently about corn rootworm and increasing numbers of examples of its growing resistance to Bt corn, which is genetically modified to be pest-resistant. Iowa Farmer Today wrote about it here. On the Western IPM Center website, there's a link to a recent webinar about corn rootworm resistance that was held by our sister center in the North Central Region. Catch up on the webinar here.

Finally - and yes, the tease in the headline was deliberate - April 7 is National Beer Day in the United States. It was on this day in 1933 that the Budweiser Clydesdales delivered beer to the White House to celebrate the end of prohibition in America.