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DPI Diary

May 23, 2014

Division of Plant Industry

Division of Plant Industry

A digest of posts from FDACS-DPI social media

UF’s Second Annual Bug Week is a success

Our hats are off to the University of Florida’s Entomology & Nematology Department for successfully sponsoring the second annual Bug Week. Visit the BugWeek@UF web site  for a wealth of features and a summary of future events.

This may be even more useful than a better mousetrap

Coinciding with Bug Week, the department released plans for a better bedbug trap, a homemade but apparently effective gadget that anyone can make from household items that cost about a dollar. See the plans here. It was developed by an enterprising graduate student.Bug-Trap

Protecting honey bees

We linked to Gainesville’s WCJB TV-20 Reporter Anna Carabeo’s story (http://www.wcjb.com/local-news/2014/05/effects-pesticides-honey-bees) on continuing efforts to protect honey bees from pesticides. There are more than 3,000 registered beekeepers in Florida… managing more than 400,000 honey bee colonies and producing between 10 to 20 million pounds of honey a year.

Crepuscular smorgasbord? Love the term.

We also linked to Dr. Amanda Hodges’s Pest Alert blog, (http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/pestalert/2014/05/21/summer-floridas-crepuscular-smorgasbord/), which reminded us that biting flies, ticks and mosquitoes are ready to make a “crepuscular smorgasbord” of your backyard festivities. (She even takes the time to clue reader’s in on the meaning of crepuscular.) Spoiler Alert: one word. Deet!

Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week

beetle-eab

Emerald Ash Borer

This week was also Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week. The emerald ash borer is not known to exist in the Sunshine State, but Floridians traveling in other parts of the country this summer should be aware of this dangerous invasive pest that is attacking trees in many other parts of the country and a key way to avoid spreading it: Don’t move firewood!

 

Emerald ash borer has killed millions of ash trees in the northern U.S. since its arrival in 2002. It is hitchhiking on firewood and infesting new areas at an alarming rate. Florida ash trees are at risk, so please do not transport firewood from other states. Learn more about our trapping program and view a video here: (http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Plant-Industry/Pests-Diseases/Emerald-Ash-Borer) If you think you have seen an emerald ash borer or a diseased ash tree, contact the DPI Helpline: 1-888-397-1517.Find firewood movement regulations for Florida and other states here (http://www.dontmovefirewood.org/the-problem/state-state-information/index.html)

…but it’s another beetle that threatens Florida’s avocado production

Redbay

Redbay ambrosia beetle

Because the redbay ambrosia beetle threatens the state’s valuable avocado industry, FDACS/DPI continues to promote the “Save the Guac” (http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Plant-Industry/Save-the-Guac) campaign. Key points of the campaign – important for travelers to nnote this Memorial Day weekend, include:

 

  • Use local firewood or firewood from a  certified firewood vendor only.
  • Don’t move unprocessed wood, as it can transfer harmful insects and diseases.
  • Don’t transport host trees unless they were purchased from a registered nursery.

USDA plan heartens California citrus producers

A grapefruit with symptoms of citrus greening

A grapefruit with symptoms of citrus greening

This week the Orlando Sentinel and other media reported USDA has announced plans to expand efforts to breed and release a parasitic wasp, Tamarixia radiate, that is a natural enemy of the Asian Citrus Psyllid, in California citrus areas. The psyllid spreads huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening and described by Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam as an existential threat to our state’s citrus industry.

The Florida Department of Agriculture initiated a biological control program using T. radiata in 1998. By the early 2000s, T. radiate had been established statewide. The department is augmenting wasp populations with periodic mass releases to slow the spread of HLB. The FDACS Division of Plant Industry rears T. radiate at its facilities in Gainesville and Dundee.

Celebrating in Miami-Dade? Watch for GALS

With Memorial Day coming up on Monday, be sure to look out for the Giant African Land Snail if you are celebrating in the Miami-Dade area. We are working to eradicate the GALS. Look for them! Report them! call our helpline at 1-888-397-1517. We’re slowly winning the battle against the voracious invasive snail, but our Throwback Thursday post shows just how bad an infestation can get.

GALS Billboard2

Your friends at FDACS-DPI wish you a great holiday weekend.

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