Newly Updated "CityBugs" Website Now Available
Dr. Michael Merchant, Professor and Extension Urban Entomologist with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, announced that his website "Insects in the City" has been updated. Below are some of his remarks concerning the recent changes:
"A significant portion of phone calls to county Extension offices each summer relate to insects around the home and landscape. If you or your office staff sometimes struggle coming up with good answers to those questions, the new Insects in the City website might be for you.
The site is designed to provide information for agents, volunteers and the public on insects, arthropods, and even a few other pests. The site is a major update of the old citybugs website that has been in place for over 10 years. The web address is even the same, http://citybugs.tamu.edu/
What's new with the site?
- A new look based on the AgriLife WordPress platform for websites. While the site looks better (I think), it also has more information, is better organized and (important to me) is easier to use and keep updated. For you, this means more frequent updates, more images and more information for the public.
- An Insects Update feature replaces the old News Updates. The new Updates feature has a subscription feature that will send you automatic copies of new postings. For example, based on several recent phone calls I posted a short story about the increased problem with bagworms this summer. If you were a subscriber, you would have received a copy of the story in email on June 8, when it was posted. Subscribing to the service will keep you up to date on current information about urban insect pest problems.
- Better navigation to old and new information. Most of the original F@ctsheets are still there (though the old links have changed) and more; but finding the information you need should be easier, especially when you are not sure what kind of critter you've got. Get to F@ctsheets by clicking on the "F@ctsheets and Links" link on the right-hand side of the home page and navigating through the dropdown menus:
- Landscape insects & pests of ornamental plants
- Sap- and mesophyll-feeding insects
- Beneficial insects
- Chewing insects
- Other insects and critters
- Pests of lawns
- Pests of vegetable gardens
- Specialty landscape plants
- Household insects & other pests
- Household ants
- Household beetles
- Food and fabric pests
- Indoor flies
- Termites & wood destroying insects
- Miscellaneous pests
- Pesticides & Pest Management
- Understanding Common House and Garden Insecticides
- What is a pyrethroid insecticide?
- What is a pesticide?
- Resources for teachers & students (A Kim Schofield project)
- Biting and stinging pests
- Pictures and short descriptive text help you find the exact information you need.
- Additional links to Extension bulletins, fact sheets and websites will, I hope, make Insects in the City your one-stop shop for all the major entomology online resources. By using the dropdown menusabove you will not only see available Factsheets, but you will conveniently find links to relevant publications at the AgriLife Bookstore
- Under Insect Identification Help, also on the right side of the homepage, you will find information on how to get insects identified, including the Insect Identification form that I ask clients and agents to use when forwarding specimens for ID. You will also note guidelines for the types of specimens that my office will and will not accept. This may be useful for your office staff when deciding what kind of samples to accept.
- An efficient search engine. Know what you're looking for? Type your plant or pest into the search box in the upper left of the home page to quickly jump to the information you need.
We're still working on the site, so let me know if you can't find what you're looking for. Besides the features I've listed, there are many other new things that I hope you'll discover. I especially hope you will consider subscribing to the Insect Updates feature. Use the email subscription box, or add the Updates to your RSS feed accumulator. Hope to see you there soon.
Michael Merchant, PhD, BCE
Professor and Extension Urban Entomologist
Texas AgriLife Extension Service
17360 Coit Road, Dallas, TX 75252-6599