Save the Date!
Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference February 26-28 in Port Aransas, TX!

The Texas Invasive Plant & Pest Council has rescheduled the Texas Invasive Plant & Pest Conference to February 26-28, 2014 at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas.

Who Should Attend?
The Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Conference is a professional level meeting including keynotes, concurrent sessions, posters, and symposia designed to serve scientists, land managers, state and federal agencies, local governments, and other professionals with an interest in Texas' invasive species.

Preliminary Schedule:
  • Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - Travel Day.
  • Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - Plenary, TIPPC Business Meeting, Exhibitors, Concurrent Sessions, Reception.
  • Thursday, February 27, 2014 - Concurrent Sessions, Exhibitors, Report from Session Chairs, Awards Banquet.
  • Friday, February 28, 2014 (Half day) - Field trips and workshops.
Vist the Conference Website for updates on abstract submission, student awards and travel grants, and exhibitor/sponsorship information.

Pest Alert! Mexican Soapberry Borer

The Texas A&M Forest Service has released a new report on the Mexican Soapberry Borer (Agrilus prionurus) highlighting the need to identify and report active pest infestations.

Due to a report from, an active infestation was responded to by the Texas A&M Forest Service. This early detection and rapid response resulted in the first collection of the predatory insects in their larval stage.

Click here to read the full report and view a map showing the distribution of the Mexican Soapberry Borer.
Invasive Spotlight: Brazilian Pepper Tree
(Schinus terebinthifolius)

Brazilian pepper tree is a broadleaved, evergreen shrub that can grow to 30 or 40 feet in height with a trunk diameter of 3 feet. It invades natural and disturbed areas, often appearing as the first species to colonize a newly disturbed area.

Leaves are alternate, dark green, and are slightly toothed along leaflet margins. Crushed leaves give off a turpentine or pepper fragrance.

Brazilian pepper trees form dense thickets, shading out native grasses or shrubs, and are taking over pine forests.

Click here to learn more about this species.

More News

A New Weapon Against Invasive Species
French Biologists have used a novel technique to identify areas affected by pests, Google Street View. Learn more at Google Street View can help fight against invasive insects: French Biologists - CTV News. If you would like to be involved in a pilot project investigating this new technique in your area, please contact

"Eat 'Em to Beat 'Em!", Invasive Species for Dinner?
Florida has a new approach to invasive lionfish, they are eating them. USA Today profiles this new approach and outlines some challenges posed by popularizing invasive species as a food source in Invasive species for dinner? Add a grain of salt.

Invasive lionfish are so tasty that it spurred the Reef Environmental Education Foundation to produce The Lionfish Cookbook. If you are interested in collecting and handling lionfish, please consider attending the November 3 REEF Lionfish Workshop in Corpus Christi, TX.

Hello Zebra Mussels. Goodbye Texas Lakes.
The Texas Tribune reports that experts are worried that the invasive bivalve, the zebra mussel, will cause large problems in Texas reservoirs. Zebra Mussels Threaten Central Texas Reservoirs predicts t
his invasive species will create long-term logistical and ecological issues for reservoirs, environmental health and drinking water. Click here for more information on zebra mussels or to report a suspected population.

Emerald Ash Borer, A Cautionary Tale
The emerald ash borer has recently been found in new areas, including Colorado and Georgia. This invasive pest could cause untold damage to ash trees in the State of Texas. Please do not move firewood, which has been shown to have been a major pathway for EAB introduction. If you would like to familiarize yourself with this species, please visit our EAB information page

If you would like your invasive species event or news listed in the next iWire, please send the details to


Cliff Tylick
Citizen Scientist of the Month

The October Citizen Scientist of the Month is Cliff Tyllick of Austin. Cliff has the distinction of reporting the most observations for October. He has been an active champion against invasive species for many years and has been active with other conservation initiaves in Austin, including TreeFolks and Austin ReLeaf. His least favorite species is Chinese pistache (Pistacia chinensis).

Way to go Cliff, keep up the good work!

If you would like to highlight a successful invasive species project or nominate a special person to be highlighted in an upcoming iWire, please send the details to

Screen Shot 2013-10-31

Sentinel Pest Network and Invaders of Texas Species Workshops

Invaders of Texas workshops train volunteers to become citizen scientists to detect and report invasive species. Workshops include information on the Sentinel Pest Network, which serves to increase the awareness of early detection of Emerald Ash Borer, Cactus Moth, Asian Longhorned Beetle, and other pests of regulatory significance.

Workshops can be tailored to meet the interests of your volunteer group, and supplementary session examples include an introduction to the TX Invaders mobile application and the Eradicator Calculator, a feature on designed to help organize and track volunteer-based eradication efforts.

We have funding from USDA APHIS and the Texas A&M Forest Service for 10 workshops in the upcoming months, so schedule your free workshop, today!

Upcoming Workshops:

Wednesday, January 26, 2014

Location: New Braunfels Public Library (New Braunfels, TX)
Contact: Rosalie Meier

For more information or to register to attend a workshop, please visit the Workshop Page.