Insects directly affect the lives of all Mississippi citizens. You don’t have to be a farmer or gardener to be plagued by insects. Fire ants and mosquitoes are just two examples of insect pests that affect us all.
Every major row crop grown in the state is subject to attack by a variety of insect pests, and farmers often suffer large yield losses to insects despite spending a significant portion of their crop production budget on insect control.
Commercial fruit and vegetable crops are similarly affected, and home vegetable gardeners are well-aware that insects are a constant threat to tomatoes and other home vegetables.
Ornamental plants and turfgrass are also subject to attack by a variety of insects: azalea lace bugs damage azaleas in home and commercial landscapes, crape myrtle bark scale is a serious new pest of crape myrtles, and chinch bugs damage St. Augustine lawns.
Insects, like mosquitoes and ticks, bite people and sometimes spread serious diseases, while insects like fleas plague our pets, and horn flies and other livestock pests feed on livestock, reducing growth rates and feed use efficiency.
Termites and a few other insects even eat our homes, while insect pests such as confused flour beetles and cloths moths damage food and clothing stored inside our homes.
Successful insect control requires proactive planning, proper pest identification, understanding pest biology, and a sound knowledge of control options and how and when to apply control. Insecticides are useful tools for controlling insect pests, but insecticides are only one of many methods of insect management. Plant selection, variety selection, time of planting, cultural practices, natural biological control, and exclusion are just a few examples of non-insecticidal methods that can help reduce the need for insecticide use. When insecticides are needed, knowing which insecticide to use and how to apply it safely is critical to obtaining effective control for minimum cost and effort.
These web pages and the publications they reference can help you learn more about the insect pests that affect you, your home and landscape, or the crops you produce, and they provide specific recommendations on how to control these pests.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Spring has begun, and while that means warmer weather and blooming flowers, it may mean more pests infiltrating your home.
David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, explained the importance of integrated pest management and the steps that make up the IPM process. He said IPM focuses on common-sense activities around the house, with an emphasis on environmentally friendly and affordable practices over regular application of insecticide.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- As fall quickly winds down, gardening experts urge Mississippians not to throw in the trowel just yet.
Some pollinators are still active and need nectar for energy to reproduce or migrate to their overwintering locations.
PICAYUNE, Miss. -- Families and school groups can have fun while learning about insects and their habitats at the annual Crosby Arboretum Bugfest Sept. 16 and 17 in Picayune.
The hands-on event, held at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum, encourages children, teachers and parents to get curious about the world of entomology.
Attendees can participate in insect-themed games, educational presentations, arts and crafts, and collection and identification opportunities. A staffed mounting station will be available throughout the event.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Warmer days motivate many people to tackle cluttered closets, disorganized garages and idle storage buildings. But before pulling out neglected boxes of junk, consider who -- or what -- might have taken up residence in the dark, undisturbed piles.
PICAYUNE, Miss. -- Gardening enthusiasts can learn how to attract pollinators during a two-part program at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum on May 21.
Heather Sullivan, a botanist with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, will kick off the program with a habitat walk through the arboretum grounds from 10 to 11 a.m. On the tour, she will focus on the pollinators and native plants in each habitat.