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DPI Diary

August 23, 2013

Division of Plant Industry

Division of Plant Industry

A summary of social media activities this week at FDACS/DPI

Travel citrus-safe this summer

FDACS/DPI is not the only agency using social media to urge travelers to avoid bringing pests with them as they travel back home from other states or countries. This week, USDA/APHIS honed in on citrus.  Moving citrus may seem harmless, but it can come with huge consequences. The Asian citrus psyllid could be hiding on citrus fruit, trees, clippings, nursery stock or firewood. The psyllid can carry citrus greening disease, a death sentence for infected trees, Transporting dooryard citrus or any citrus plant or fruit that has not been USDA certified is illegal. For more information on transporting citrus, contact our Helpline, 1-888-397-1517.

Don’t move firewood

This is the season to enjoy guacamole and other avocado products. But did you know moving firewood can put the guac in danger? Don’t Move Firewood published this video explaining the issue that spawned our own “Save the Guac” program: laurel wilt disease, caused by a fungus spread by the redbay ambrosia beetle. It threatens avocado and other trees in the laurel family.

Don’t pack a pest

Donkey

Virgin Islands donkey says “Feed those ag products to me and keep them out of your luggage.” Don’t Pack a Pest!

While we’re on the subject of not moving scary things from place to place, we won’t fail to mention the Traveler’s “Don’t Pack a Pest” Program, which continues to broaden its reach. Videos are playing on American Airlines and JetBlue flights and videos are playing and signs are up in major international airports here in the U.S. Airports and passenger seaports in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the U.S. Virgin Islands are joining the program, which reminds international travelers to declare agricultural produce carried in their luggage.

Tomato leaf miner not known to be in U.S., but our inspectors watch for it anyhow

 

So far as is known, the tomato leafminer hasn’t yet hit the shores of the United States. Nevertheless, inspectors with the Florida Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey program are working to make sure it hasn’t invaded the state. The program is a cooperative effort between the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Tomato leafminer, (Tuta absoluta), is native to tropical and subtropical South America. Left untreated, it can cause severe damage to plants and create pinholes in tomato fruit, making it unmarketable. See our Pest Alert here.

Raffle-Hive-2013-001-300x225

This decorated hive was displayed and raffled off at the honey bee celebration in High Springs.

Gainesville television station WCJB, Channel 20, did a great job covering National Honey Bee Appreciation Day events in High Springs last weekend. If you missed it, you can view their coverage here, and see an interview with American Honeybee princess Emily Campbell here.

ButterflyLady

Wednesday was National Senior Citizens Day. Our neighbors at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville invited seniors to celebrate the day (and get out of the rain) at the museum.

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