Tic Toc it’s Tick Time

Perfect timing! Check out this tick info graphic! Be tick aware!!!!

GRO Big Red

PDF Version for Printing: Tic Toc Ticks

Tic Toc Ticks final (2)   Featured image courtesy of Jim Kalisch; UNL Entomology Department

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When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Press Pause

You can’t protect your child from feeling stressed out, angry or sad. What you can do is teach him ways of managing his stress. Learn more from The Learning Child blog ….

The Learning Child Blog

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The parts of our brain that are involved in reacting to emotions can quickly hijack our ability to reason and control our intentional spotlight. Think of all the times you regret saying something because you were wound-up or overly emotional. If only you’d pressed pause to think about your reactions before blurting out your feelings. Kids need this pause space too, although it is difficult for them to recognize when they need it. Often, when our child is upset or emotional, we feel the immediate need to do something about it – to argue back, to cuddle her, to yell, or to put our face right up close to hers so that she will concentrate on what we have to say.

However, the best strategy is to press pause and wait for your child to calm down. By doing this, you give your child the opportunity to practice calming herself…

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Little Black Ants Everywhere!

Odorous house ant profile

Odorous house ant has a flat, hidden node, so it cannot be seen by side profile compared to other ants.  Photo by Jody Green, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.

If you’re like most homeowners, this is the time of year small ants seem to be invading your home. Here in Lancaster County, household ant identification and inquiries are high. Spring has sprung, but the varying soil and air temperatures may not be stable enough to produce the food (carbohydrates, fats, proteins) to support the many ants becoming active in the ecosystem. They may be too close for comfort and here are the reasons they’re entering your space:

  1. They can.
  2. They’re hungry.
  3. They’re thirsty.

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The April 2017 Issue of the NEBLINE is on-line!

The April issue of the free NEBLINE Newsletter is on-line. Visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/nebline

Emerald Ash Borer IdentificationHere are some of the articles featured in this issue:

  • Emerald Ash Borer – Next Steps
  • Emerald Ash Borer Seminars
  • Is this food still safe to eat?
  • Cheese Ball “Chick” Recipe
  • Pollinator Class & Open House – April 6
  • When will my child be ready to ride a bike?
  • Upcoming Learning Child Trainings
  • Look for Rust in Wheat
  • Tractor Safety Courses for Youth
  • Care for New Orchard Plantings
  • Termite Damage, Infestation & Treatment Options – Part 2
  • Western Meadowlark: Nebraska’s State Bird
  • Household Hazardous Waste Collections – Local
  • April Heart of 4-H Award Winner: Shane Kraus
  • 4-H Club updates, 4-H Achievements Celebration, Upcoming Workshops, 4-H Camps and more
  • 4-H Teen Council Practices Leadership at Lock-in
  • Meet New Nutrition Staff
  • Open House at State Capitol
  • and much more…

The NEBLINE Newsletter

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

Bed Bugs and the Aging Community

Human Bed Bug

Human bed bug is typically reddish-brown in color, oval-shaped, wingless and has sucking mouthparts to suck blood from its host. Photo by Jody Green, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.

Bed bugs are blood sucking insects that primarily feed on the exposed skin of humans while they sleep. Though they are not known to spread diseases to humans, their presence and feeding behavior causes great social, emotional and financial stress to many individuals and their families. Whether we choose to be believe it or not, bed bugs are real and they’re closer than we may want to believe. They can be seen in different shapes and sizes based on age and feeding status (fed vs. hungry).

Engorged bed bug nymph, poppy seed for scale, bed bug egg, unfed bed bug nymph.

Engorged bed bug nymph, poppy seed for scale, bed bug egg, unfed bed bug nymph. Photo by Jody Green, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.

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The March 2017 Issue of the NEBLINE is on-line!

The March issue of the free NEBLINE Newsletter is on-line. Visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/nebline

Habitat Modification Photo

Pet food left outside, especially overnight, can attract wildlife such as raccoons and skunks. Learn more in the March NEBLINE

Here are some of the articles featured in this issue:

  • Extension’s Agricultural Apps Put Management Tools in Producers’ Hands
  • New Climate and Weather App: AgriTools
  • Sorting Food Facts and Myths: Do Foods Labeled as “Natural” Deliver on Your Expectations?
  • Termites Part 1: Know the Difference Between Termites and Ants
  • Habitat Modification May Help Reduce Wildlife Conflicts
  • Choosing a Site for Your Orchard
  • 2017 All-America Vegetable Award Winners
  • Is My Child Ready For Kindergarten?
  • Heart of 4-H Award Winner: Nickie Casburn
  • It’s Time to Re-Enroll in 4-H!
  • Lancaster County 4-H’er Showcases Doll Clothing Business at ESI Capitol Contest
  • 4-H Club updates, Upcoming Workshops, 4-H Camps and more
  • Meet the 2017 Extension Board
  • Paula Peterson Receives Statewide
    Extension Board Volunteer Award
  • Jenny DeBuhr Earns Award of Excellence
  • and much more…

The NEBLINE Newsletter

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

Flour Beetles: Pesky Pests of the Pantry

Another common pantry pest of homes are flour beetles. Flour beetles are very common in homes. They can fly in from outdoors or be brought into the home on infested products  from the grocery store.

There are two flour beetles that have similar biology, behaviors, lifecycle and feeding habits, the red and confused flour beetles. The red flour beetle has a three-segmented club, and the confused beetle does not. This difference though slight, provides an important difference when dealing with origin of the infestation because the red flour beetle is a flier and the confused flour beetle is not capable of flight.

red-flour-beetle

Red flour beetle has a three-segmented club. Photo by Jody Green, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.

Adult flour beetles are approximately 1/8 inch long and reddish-brown in color. The larvae are creamy to yellow-brown, with light hairs and pointed projections on the last segment. Before pupation, mature larvae are about 1/4 inch long. All life stages can be found in large numbers feeding on broken kernels and other grain products.

Flour beetle larvae

Flour beetle larvae. Photo by Jody Green, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.

Signs of red flour beetle infestations in the home include:

1) Adult beetles flying around inside the house. They are attracted to light and may accumulate along the window sills.

2) Larvae and adults can be found together in the same food products that contain flour and grain products.

Red flour beetle adult and larva feeding on dog biscuit (Photo by J. Green)

Red flour beetle adult and larva feeding on dog biscuit. Photo by Jody Green, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.

Prevention and sanitation is your best protection against flour beetles. Here are some ways you can prevent infestations in the home, minimize wasted food and save money:

  • Before purchase, check expiration dates for old products that have been on the shelves for a long period of time.
  • Be extra cautious buying plenty of heavily discounted products on clearance.
  • Avoid buying in bulk and storing large quantities of products in the pantry.
  • Store products in air-tight, transparent, insect-proof containers.
  • Use the oldest products first to ensure freshness and proper stock rotation.
  • Store infrequently used dry ingredients in the freezer.
  • Clean up spills and crumbs in food storage areas so not to attract pests.
  • Vacuum cracks and crevices where insects can hide and grains can accumulate.
  • Dispose infested foods in trash and put outdoors.
  • Flour beetles are often found devouring old dog biscuits forgotten on high shelves or trapped under furniture.

Treatment strategies for red and confused flour beetle do not include insecticide use inside the home. A thorough inspection is necessary to locate and eliminate the source of the infestation for a long term solution. Most people overlook prepackaged and prepared foods, unopened packages and non-food items, but a variety of products are vulnerable. There are pheromone traps available, that will trap beetles in a pitfall trap, but these are preferred as a monitoring tool, rather than a control method.

Flour beetles

Flour beetles can be a problem that starts at the manufacturing facility like the flour mill. Photo by Jody Green, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.

Flour beetles can occur year round in heated buildings. Keep your eye on your food and don’t share it with pantry pests.

Confessions of an Extension Entomologist: I bake so infrequently, that our flour is stored permanently in air tight containers in the freezer. If I didn’t have this job, I might be a professional pantry specialist. I enjoy organizing other people’s stored food products and finding insect-infested products. Note: Always check the pancake mix.

Red flour beetles in pancake mix

Flour beetles of all life stages and cast skins (exoskeletons) in pancake mix. Photo by Jody Green, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.

For more information on pests found in and around the home, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest.

Stay calm and respect the critters,

Jody