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DPI Diary: A Summary of DPI’s Social Media Activity this Week

August 2, 2013

GALS by the numbers

SnailFind19Mar13This week we published an index containing some key numbers related to the giant African land snails (GALS )that were found in Miami-Dade County neighborhoods in September 2011. Since then teams from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry (FDACS/DPI) have collected more than 125,000 of the mollusks. Eradication efforts have resulted in a significant decline in the snail population. While extensive surveys continue statewide, the snail has not been found in any other county in Florida. In addition to consuming mor than 500 types of plants, the snail can also damage structures by consuming stucco to obtain calcium to build its shell and may contain a parasite that can cause a form of meningitis in humans.

Pressing ahead with the “Don’t Pack a Pest” message

Beagle puppy 1

Linus, the agriculture detector dog, is the face of the “Don’t Pack a Pest” Traveler’s Campaign.

The traveling public should be aware of prohibited materials and declare agriculture items when entering the U.S., and we’re continuing to use our social media presence to promote the “Don’t Pack a Pest” Traveler’s Campaign. Linus, the concerned canine face of our campaign, works for Customs and Border Protection, which seizes hundreds of pounds of fruits, vegetables and meats daily at our international airports. Do your part to help keep our country safe from pests and diseases. When you travel, DON’T PACK A PEST! DECLARE AGRICULTURAL ITEMS! Watch the updated video here.

National Farmers Market Week is coming up

Next week we’ll be helping promote local farmers’ markets, because Aug. 4-10 will be National Farmers market Week. There are nearly 8,000 marketplaces in the U.S. and at least 400 in Florida, up nearly 10 percent from 2011. You can find them at http://localharvest.org, http://pickyourown.org, and  http://florida-agriculture.com .

August is Tree Check Month

Our friends at USDA-APHIS, the  U.S. Forest Service, the Nature Conservancy, and American Forests have declared August Tree Check Month, a time for anyone engaged in outdoor recreation to take just ten minutes to check trees for signs of the Asian Longhorned Beetle, an invasive pest that has devastated trees, especially maples, in a number of states. It has not been found in Florida and we don’t want it to be. Look for our blog entry on Monday or check the news release here.

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