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DPI Diary

September 27, 2013

A Weekly Summary of FDACS/DPI Social Media Activity

South Florida rains flush out giant snails

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Rain brings giant African snails into the open.

Due to recent rainfall across the state, The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service’s Helpline has been receiving more calls from Miami-Dade County residents reporting giant African land snail sightings. We’re urging everyone to stay up to date on the latest GALS information by visiting our newly redesigned website. Always report suspected sightings of giant African land snails to our Helpline at 888-397-1517. You may also submit a photo of the snail to our helpline for identification at dpihelpline@freshfromflorida.com

Scientists consider the giant African land snail (or GALS) to be one of the most damaging snails in the world because consumes at least 500 different types of plants and can pose a serious risk to human health. GALS cause extensive damage to tropical and subtropical environments. Our teams  continue toworking to eradicate the snails from Miami-Dade County.

Happy fall, ya’ll

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Fall means more s’mores! Enjoy, but don’t move firewood.

Our “Fun Fact Monday” editor gave a shout-out to fall, whose quiet arrival on Sunday went largely unheralded in other social media. Now we’re seeing chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers displayed together at grocery stores – encouraging us to to make s ‘mores. But to really enjoy s’mores you need to cozy up to a camp fire and therein lies a threat. Pests can hitchhike on firewood! The main message is Don’t Move Firewood – buy it from local sources and burn it all before you leave the camp site. Learn more here.

Putnam: “Find water sources that won’t deplete”

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam notes Florida agriculture is using less water now than at any time in the past.That’s important because Florida’s future depends on access to a reliable supply of fresh water. While we’re surrounded by seas and receive abundant rainfall, in some regions during certain times of the year, we are using water faster than Mother Nature can provide it. As our population continues to grow, pressure on our fragile water supplies will increase. “The next step,” Putnam says, “must be to explore sources of water that won’t deplete.” Read the commissioner’s commentary: (Context Florida)

Bees still struggling, but beekeeping’s buzzing in South Florida

Disease and other factors may be challenging its population, but the industrious honey bee has never been more popular. And South Florida beekeepers are swarming to meet the demand. A story in the Sun-Sentinel quotes Ryan Willingham, apiary inspector with the state Division of Plant Industry. “Healthy and on the incline,” is how he describes the region’s beekeeping industry. “In the last five years it’s been growing drastically.” (Sun-Sentinel)

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“Don’t Pack a Pest,” “Don’t Move Firewood,” “Save the Guac” and many other ongoing awareness campaigns were on exhibit at The Landscape Show in Orlando last week. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and and United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service partnered to showcase joint programs aimed at protecting agriculture by educating the public.

 

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