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Mother and father with their two small children.

Join SDSU Extension Staff for a Virtual Coffee Break

June 06, 2020

Throughout the summer of 2020, SDSU Extension staff are hosting monthly virtual coffee breaks on a variety of topics.

A woman applying bug spray to a teenager's arm.

How to Avoid Being Dinner: Preventing Tick and Mosquito Bites

Summer is here, and so are the opportunities to enjoy the long days and warm weather. Ticks and mosquitoes share the outdoors with us, and there are things you can do to prevent bites from both.

Mosquito with darker coloration and mosquito with white band on proboscis.

Know Your West Nile Virus Vectors

In some areas of South Dakota, recent precipitation has led to an increase in mosquito activity. To reduce the chances of contracting West Nile Virus, it is important to understand the behavior of the mosquitos capable of vectoring it.

Small black fly on pale skin.

Monitor Livestock, Pets and Yourself for Eye Gnat Activity

While being outside this week, I noticed a lot of small gnats flying around my legs and really bothering my dogs. I caught a few and identified them as eye gnats. Although this pest is considered a nuisance in most cases, it is capable of transmitting diseases and pathogens.

Flock of mosquitoes in front of sunset.

West Nile in South Dakota: Expect Cases Into Early Fall

While it’s true that in South Dakota most West Nile Virus cases occur during August, new human infections are detected well into September in most years.

A young girl with a snail-shaped watering can.

Ages & Stages in the Garden: Ages 6-8

A garden can be used to teach many concepts to a board range of ages. When working with early elementary youth you will want to consider characteristics of their development when planning lessons and activities.

several children next to a raised garden

Ages & Stages in the Garden: 4-5 year olds

If considering a garden-based learning program for four to five year-old it is important to understand some of their developmental characteristics prior to planning your program. Young children’s abilities will differ greatly from older youth.

Ages & Stages in the Garden: Ages 9-11

When working with upper elementary youth in a garden consider their physical development and skill level as you develop learning activities. Nine to eleven year olds have better coordination and reaction time by this age, however sometimes dues to growth spurs there can be short-term issues with balance and coordination. Additionally, these children have more body strength and their hand dexterity has increased.

Mosquito with darker coloration and mosquito with white band on proboscis.

Be Ready for Mosquitos

With the very wet 2019 spring and recent rains, it inevitable that mosquito populations will be high this year. Although there are over 20 species of mosquitoes that call South Dakota home, there are really only two species that account for the majority of observed individuals.

Teardrop shaped tick with a dark brown body and legs and an elongate white patch behind its head.

Ticks Becoming Active in South Dakota

The arrival of spring in South Dakota means warmer weather and more outdoor activities. However, it also brings an increase in tick activity.