Congrats to the University of California recipients of awards from the Association for Communication Excellence (ACE), an international association of communicators, educators and information technologists who focus on communicating research-based information.
ACE officials recently handed out gold, silver and bronze awards at their 107th annual conference, held in Asheville, N.C. ACE's first conference occurred July 10, 1913, when land-grant college agricultural editors gathered at the University of Illinois.
And now, the California winners:
The University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) won the gold award in the Information Technology category, Instructional Design for a Non-Academic Public Online Course, for its “Self-Paced Online Course: Urban Pyrethroid and Fipronil Use-Runoff and Surface Water Protection.”
The team: Petr Kosina, Cheryl Reynolds, Robert Budd, Aniela Burant, Carlos Gutierrez, Karey Windbiel-Rojas and Loren Oki.
The course, for pest management professionals who work primarily in structural pest control or landscape maintenance, “presents information on the Surface Water Protection Regulations that were put into place to reduce the amount of pyrethroids in surface water runoff. It discusses the types of applications allowed under the regulations as well as those that are prohibited and those that are exempt." The course, available for free, must be completed by Dec. 30 of the current year.
Kathy Keatley Garvey (yours truly), communication specialist for the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, won a bronze award (third place) in the pictorial series category. Her submission included a series of monarch images published July 27, 2022 on her Bug Squad blog, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources website.
Headlined “Monarch Butterflies: Closer to Extinction,” the blog included photos of a monarch egg, caterpillar, chrysalis and male and female butterflies, all images she captured in her family's pollinator garden in Vacaville.
The blog dealt with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announcement on July 21, 2022 that the migratory monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is now on its "Red List of Threatened Species as Endangered--threatened by habitat destruction and climate change."
“The good news? That the iconic monarch landed on the Red List, which means opening safeguards to protect it."
“The bad news? Being on the list means that it's closer to extinction. The other bad news? The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has not yet listed it as endangered or threatened, only that it's a candidate for its list of endangered and threatened wildlife."
“The sad news? The IUCN Red List now includes 147,517 species, of which 41,459 are threatened with extinction."
The ACE winners represent universities or higher institutions of learning in 18 states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia and Wyoming. (See list)
Lady beetles, green fruit beetle larvae, and stick-on bug tattoos drew inquisitive and appreciative crowds when the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) staffed an informational booth at Briggs Hall during the 109th annual UC Davis Picnic Day.
Forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey and doctoral student Grace Horne of the Emily Meineke lab, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, chaired the department's Picnic Day Committee. (See 'What's a Picnic Without Bugs?)
Karey Windbiel-Rojas, associate director for Urban and Community IPM/Area IPM Advisor, said attendees asked scores of questions. "Questions were quite varied but those that stood out were how to control: termites, aphids, caterpillars, ants, carpet beetles, and rats," she said.
Green fruit beetles?
Another popular draw: Green fruit beetle larvae. "They were fun for people to get hands-on with and gave us the chance to talk to people about the difference between look alike scarab beetle larvae," Windbiel-Rojas wrote in an email. "Japanese beetles (which are not established in California), masked chafer beetles (their grubs ARE pests in raised garden beds and lawns) and green fruit beetles (which are not really pests but people sometimes see them in compost)."
"The green fruit beetle (scarab, family Scarabaeidae), is also called a fig eater beetle, green fig beetle, or western green June beetle," according to the UC IPM website. "The adults are an occasional pest of ripe fruits. Adults can fly a relatively long distance and are highly attracted to ripe fruit and the odors of manure and fermenting fruit."
UC IPM gave away 500 stick-on (temporary) tattoos, including images of the Chinese red-headed centipede (Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans), tarantula hawk (Pepsis heros) and the hickory horned devil caterpillar of a regal moth (Citheronia regalis). They were all gone within a few hours. "Next year we plan to order 1000," Windbiel-Rojas said. Staffing the educational table that included the tattoos were her two sons, Diego, a freshman at McClatchy High School in Sacramento, and Spencer, a seventh grader at Sutter Middle School in Sacramento. As attendees examined and applied the tattoos, the youths talked about invasive pests and the importance of not moving firewood to spread pests.
Meanwhile, at the entrance to Briggs Hall, it was "beetle mania" as members of the UC Davis Entomology Graduate Student Association kept busy selling their beetle t-shirts, the most popular of their insect-themed t-shirts.
The excitement, the capture, the I-get-to-take-these-home-and-put-them-in-my-garden look.
Who doesn't love a lady beetle? (Besides the gentlemen beetles, of course!)
Karey Windbiel-Rojas, associate director for Urban and Community IPM and area Urban IPM advisor, and her colleagues are ready for the crowds that will descend on entomological displays at the all-day Picnic Day on Saturday, April 15, the 109th annual.
The Briggs Hall activities, organized by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, include cockroach races, maggot art, forensic entomology, and more. (See Bug Squad blog for events and activities at both Briggs Hall and the Bohart Museum of Entomology)
The UC IPM specialists will provide information information sheets on both endemic and invasive pests and will answer questions.
Note that it's not a bug; it's a beetle. Entomologists call them "lady beetles" because this insect is not a true bug. It belong to the family Coccinellidae. Scientists have described about 5000 species worldwide, and about 450 in North America.
"Lady beetles, or ladybugs, are round- or half-dome-shaped insects with hard wing covers," UC IPM writes on its website. "About 200 species occur in California and most are predators both as adults and larvae. Some species specialize on aphids or other groups; others have a broader diet."
Lady beetles, the good guys and gals in the garden, are natural enemies of aphids and other soft-bodied insects. Scientists say a lady beetle may eat around 50 a day, and as many as 5000 aphids in its lifetime. Sadly, the larvae, which look like mini-alligators, are often mistaken for pests.
Don't kill 'em! Treasure 'em!/span>
Call them ladybugs, call them ladybirds, call them lady beetles, call them Coccinellidae, or just call them aphid eaters or deluxe aphid eaters.
And while you're at Briggs Hall, check out the insect-related displays and activities planned and coordinated by entomology doctoral candidate Danielle Rutkowski of the UC Davis Graduate Student Association. The events range from Roach Races (cheer on your favorite roach) to Maggot Art (dip a maggot in non-toxic, water-based paint and create a masterpiece worthy of framing--or at least, it can join your refrigerator art).
However, bed bugs, carpet beetles and pantry pests got into the act and competed mightily for the spotlight.
The occasion: The UC Davis Bohart Museum of Entomology open house, held Sunday afternoon, Nov. 18. The theme: "Urban Entomology."
The three-hour event starred a cockroach--well, a human dressed as a cockroach.
Karey Windbiel-Rojas of the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM)--she's the associate director for Urban and Community IPM who serves as the area urban IPM advisor for Yolo, Sacramento and Solano counties--donned her cockroach costume and joined Bohart scientists in fielding questions about urban pests.
The pests the UC IPM scientist has been dealing with lately include carpet beetles, bed bugs and pantry pests. She handed out two newly published Quick Tips on carpet beetles and pantry pests, as well as information on other pests. What are some of the other pests? Check out UC IPM's Quick Tips library at http://ipm.ucanr.edu/QT/index.html.
UC IPM offers a wealth of information on its website, including
- home, garden, turf and landscape pests
- agricultural pests
- natural environment pests, and
- exotic and invasive pests
But when a cockroach is scurrying about (that was Karey's Halloween costume, by the way), the mind focuses on the "ins" and "outs" of cockroaches. Mostly the "outs."
As in: Stay. Out. Never. Ever. Come. Back. In.
"There are six species of cockroaches in California that can become pests: German cockroach, brownbanded cockroach, oriental cockroach, smokybrown cockroach, American cockroach, and Turkestan cockroach. A seventh species, the field cockroach, is not really a pest. It is usually found outdoors, but sometimes comes indoors when it is hot or dry and is often mistaken for the German cockroach. Of these seven species, the one that has the greatest potential for becoming persistent and troublesome is the German cockroach, which prefers indoor locations. Oriental and American cockroaches occasionally pose problems in moist, humid areas."--Excerpt from UC IPM Pest Note on Cockroaches.
As the UC IPM website indicates, cockroaches "may become pests in homes, schools, restaurants, hospitals, warehouses, offices, and virtually in any structure that has food preparation or storage areas. They contaminate food and eating utensils, destroy fabric and paper products, and impart stains and unpleasant odors to surfaces they contact."
Cockroaches can definitely give you a difficult time.
And speaking of giving, today (Tuesday) is Giving Tuesday, and UC IPM Director Jim Farrar has committed to eating a pest if at least 20 people make a donation of $10 or more to UC IPM.
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) spokesperson Pamela Kan-Rice, assistant director of News and Information Outreach, informed us: "With your donation and Jim's appetite, there will be one less pest to deal with! Spread the word to colleagues, family and friends to help UC IPM meet this goal. All UC IPM donors will be invited to the special pest eating event which will take place in the afternoon on Wednesday, Nov 28 in the UC ANR building." The dining experience is expected to begin at 4 p.m.
Here's where to donate before midnight tonight: https://donate.ucanr.edu/pages/integrated-pest-management.
We asked Karey if the pest to be consumed could possibly be a cockroach. Or a garden-variety pest, such as a dandelion.
"To my knowledge he will not be eating a cockroach or a dandelion," she commented in an email. "I don't want to give away what he might be eating (so I don't actually know for sure)."
That would be a definite "no" on the roach!
(Update: Director Farrar ate corn smut, grasshoppers and live mealworms.)