Recent rains have provided much needed pond water and sub-moisture for our pastures.

Texas Agrilife Extension will host a program May 18 focused on helping you improve bermuda and native pastures (during the morning session) and pond management (during the afternoon session.)

The bermuda vs. native grass session will cover fertilizer requirements, livestock and wildlife use and production use. The pond management session will cover the importance of water quality, species stocking strategies, weed id/control and importance of catch records. We will also have an update of the 2015 FSA disaster relief program.

Speakers include Dr. Vanessa Corriher- Olson Forage Extension Specialist; Todd Sink, Fisheries Specialist; Rusty Rose, County Executive Director at Farm Services Agency.

Three CEUs will be offered for those with a current private applicators license. Please RSVP at (254) 965-1460 or send email to erath-tx@tamu.edu. The program will be held from 10 a.m. -3 p.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center at the corner of Highway 281 and highway 8 (Lingleville Road).

Recent heavy rainfall has provided numerous breeding grounds for mosquitos. We will be battling mosquitoes in our backyards with all the little puddles of water.

Texas AgriLife Extension Entomologist Mike Merchant at the Urban Solutions Center in Dallas has created a website called Mosquito Safari, mosquitosafari.tamu.edu. Mosquito Safari is sponsored by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Dallas County Health Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency -- Region 6 Pesticides Division.

This is a great interactive site to help explain mosquito biology and common control methods for homes and businesses. According to the website, container-breeding mosquitoes breed in anything that can catch and hold water, along with organic matter, like leaf or lawn debris.  Soft drink cans, open grills, watering cans, clogged gutters, wheel barrows and puddles are all potential breeding sites.

Generally, breeding can be prevented by dumping water and clearing debris.

Everyone needs to follow the “four Ds” of personal protection – DEET, dusk/dawn, dress and drain.

The first D refers to using a mosquito repellent with DEET picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus.

The second D means restricting activity at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

The third refers to how to dress. Dress in loose-fitting, light-colored, long-sleeve shirts or blouses and long pants.

The final D refers to draining bottles, cups, unused plant pots, tires and other items that might provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Lonnie Jenschke is an Erath County extension agent. His column appears weekly and online at yourstephenvilletx.com.