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Virginia Cooperative Extension offers tips for controlling mosquitoes

Mosquitoes commonly occur throughout all parts of Virginia. They are not only annoyances but also potential carriers of disease, including the Zika virus.

Mosquitoes commonly occur throughout all parts of Virginia. They are not only annoyances but also potential carriers of disease, including the Zika virus.

While the commonwealth boasts an abundance of outdoor activities to enjoy, Virginia summers have their drawbacks, too. Whether you’re hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains or hosting a backyard barbecue, chances are you’ll find yourself swatting at pesky mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes commonly occur throughout all parts of Virginia. They are not only annoyances but also potential carriers of disease, including the Zika virus. Virginia Cooperative Extension reminds residents that understanding basic mosquito habits and taking steps to disrupt their lifecycles can reduce the threat significantly.

The key to controlling mosquitoes is removing the standing or stagnant water where they thrive and reproduce, according to Eric Day, manager of the Virginia Tech Insect Identification Lab.

“The big pest mosquitoes in Virginia are container breeders, so in natural situations their larvae are developing in tree holes, which are holes in trees that collect water,” Day says. “In yards and around businesses, they are going to be breeding in locations such as stopped-up gutters, birdbaths, old containers, tires, or any structure that collects and holds water.”

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Blacksburg Children’s Museum and Virginia Tech showcase geospatial technology, weather

James Campbell, left, and John McGee introduce museum visitors Blake Theus and Kylie Sharpe to Southwest Virginia as recorded by aerial photography.

James Campbell, left, and John McGee introduce museum visitors Blake Theus and Kylie Sharpe to Southwest Virginia as recorded by aerial photography.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Feb. 25, 2016 – Visitors to the Blacksburg Children’s Museum now have a view of where they are in space and time thanks to an interactive geospatial exhibit with a wall-sized satellite image of the region and historical images of past decades. The new exhibit also includes a weather station displaying current and past weather conditions.

“This is our first exhibit that directly addresses our region with geography and weather. It’s amazing,” said Julene Rice, museum director.

Two faculty members and a doctoral student in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment created the exhibit with support from VirginiaView, an outreach program. “We have been taking geospatial technology exhibits to the Virginia Science Festival, Kids’ Tech University, and various schools for years,” said James Campbell, professor of geography.

“We have a display with imagery, maps, and computers that offers interactive local scenes so kids can see the impact of a shopping mall, for instance, or can find their own house and look at the landscape 10 years earlier,” he added.

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Virginia Cooperative Extension hosts 2016 Winter Forage conferences, features experts on tall fescue

Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Forage and Grassland Council are hosting several winter conferences on tall fescue in January to demonstrate novel approaches to managing fescue production and also disease management of the grass.

The theme of the conference series this year is “Tall Fescue in the 21st Century,” and will highlight current knowledge and practices that producers can apply to management of their tall fescue-based grazing systems.

The conferences will occur throughout the state from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m in the following locations:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 26: Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Blackstone;
  • Wednesday, Jan. 27: Wytheville Meeting Center, Wytheville;
  • Thursday, Jan. 28: Weyers Cave Community Center, Weyers Cave.

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