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DPI Diary, May 3, 2013

May 3, 2013

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GALS symposium sparks world-wide media blitz

The giant African land snail and efforts to eradicate it from Miami-Dade County were the subjects of a month-long flurry of worldwide media coverage following a symposium on the snail April 9-10 at the Doyle Conner Building in Gainesville. The print, broadcast, electronic and social SnailFind19Mar13media coverage reached at least 250 million people. Right now, FDACS/DPI is continuing to focus on reaching the public in Miami-Dade with the message “Look for it! Report It!” An ad is currently screening in some Miami theaters just before feature films. It offers a horrific, close-up view of GALS in an ad styled after trailers for classic 1950s-era horror movies. The ads are appearing at Miami Dolphin 19 with IMAX, Miami Kendall Village Stadium 16, Miami Lakes 17 Cinemas and Miami Movies at the Falls 12. You can view the trailer here.

Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam warns consumers to take action to protect their homes from termites and bed bugs.

Warming weather means swarming termites as large numbers of termites leave their colonies in search of new nesting sites, usually March through May, depending on the species. Termites are present throughout Florida. Chances are, anywhere you stand, there are termites nearby. Currently FDACS incident response crews are working in Dania Beach to eradicate colonies of Conehead termites, a particularly invasive species of termite that attack homes and buildings, as well as lumber and wood products and are capable of causing widespread damage. Commissioner Putnam says many homes lack any type of termite protection, even though regular inspection and prevention practices are essential to protecting homes from termite damage.

5371577-tree termiteWhile termites swarm in the spring, bed bugs can settle into homes anytime throughout the year. FDACS has joined forces with various state, local and private entities to promote public awareness about the prevalence of bed bugs and inform consumers on how to protect themselves from bed bug infestations. Adult bed bugs are normally the size of an apple seed while immature ones are much smaller. Bed bugs are found in the seams of bedding and sofas, backpacks, behind headboards, dressers and various other places. Remove all clutter from your home, which makes finding bed bugs easier. See our blog post, here, for more information on termites and bedbugs.

Verify a pest control company’s license

FDACS regulates and licenses pest control companies and conducts regular inspections to ensure that businesses are in compliance with the rules and regulations that govern pesticides and pest control. To verify if a pest control company is licensed or to file a complaint, call 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352), (850)-617-7997 or visit www.flaes.org.

Visit Fresh From Florida at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Fresh From Florida will be joined by 11 agribusinesses and associations at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival May 3-5, 10a-5p in the Festival Center. We hope you’ll come visit!

Where to see the department’s traveling history exhibit

The traveling exhibit featuring 500 years of Florida agricultural history will be on display around the state. Here’s its schedule:

Statewide advertising campaign promotes fresh local seafood, fruits and vegetables

Dubbed “Fresh from Florida” and largely funded from the state’s financial settlement with energy giant BP after its 2010 Gulf oil spill, the department’s innovative TV-based campaign featrues 15- and 30-second commercials airing in all 10 of the state’s media markets. Given Commissioner Adam Putnam’s goal of more aggressive promotion of fresh local food products, the FDACS team designed a  “push-pull campaign” intended to expand retail distribution by also driving increased consumer demand. (Highlands Today)

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