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All Hail the Solstice: Summer Comes to Florida

June 20, 2013

All Hail the Solstice: Summer Comes to Florida

SealColor

Division of Plant Industsry

The June solstice heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and this year it falls on Friday, June 21 (at 1:04 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 12:04 Central Daylight Time, to be exact). In Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and Quebec, Canada, people celebrate the solstice on  Midsummer Day, June 24, ,a public holiday, with feasting, maypoles, and  bonfires.

Here in Florida most of us take scant notice of the occasion, although this year sun worshipers (Wear your sunscreen!) will be pleased that the day with the most hours of sunlight during the entire year falls at the beginning of a weekend.  Summer’s arrival also means the rainy season, as well as the hurricane season, is full upon us. That means mosquitoes, ticks and the like will have more places to reproduce. As their numbers increase, so does the potential for the transfer of diseases.

MosquitoUFIFAS

UF/IFAS Photo

If you’re planning outside activities this time of year,  make it a habit to protect your health.  Gardeners, hikers, golfers, horse riders – anyone planning to be outside for any length of time – should wear full clothing cover, sunscreen and insect repellent.

To learn more about mosquitoes, check this website from the University of FLorida:  http://mosquito.ifas.ufl.edu/

Mosquitoes, ticks and other disease vectors reproduce more rapidly during the rainy season. The diseases they can transfer to humans and domessticated animals can be quite serious. Stay informed! The State of Florida tracks incidence of vector-borne diseases and posts them weekly, on-line, at:

http://www.doh.state.fl.us/Environment/medicine/arboviral/Weekly-Summary.html

You can track the most up to date cases of these diseases in the United States with maps provided by USGS http://diseasemaps.usgs.gov/index.html

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Other References

This EDIS publication describes some of the important mosquito pests that are responsible for arboviral disease transmission: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in851.

Floodwater mosquitos and standing-water mosquitos are described in this EDIS publication: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in535 .

Content for the UF-IFAS Pest Alert from which we extracted the information for this blog entry was contributed by DPM Graduate Student Eric LeVeen. 

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