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DPI Diary

September 26, 2014

Traveling internationally? Think before you pack

Is the interception of a single orange with black lesions by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) at Philadelphia International Airport a big deal?

blackspotWell yes, it is. Particularly for beleaguered Florida citrus producers. The USDA has confirmed that orange was infected with citrus black spot, a fungal disease marked by dark necrotic spots or blotches on the rinds of fruit. The disease produces early fruit drop, reduces crop yields, and if not controlled, renders the highly-blemished fruit unmarketable. It was first confirmed in Florida – and for the first time in North America — in March 2012 on Valencia oranges growing near Immokalee. Learn more about citrus Black Spot here.

Linus the Dector DogThe Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry is charged with protecting Florida agriculture from invasive pests and diseases. The Don’t Pack a Pest Travelers Campaign  aims to make travelers aware of the risks associated with transporting agricultural items in luggage. Learn what you can legally pack at www.dontpackapest.com. The helpful site is accessible on computers and mobile devices.

Invasive insects: scarier than zombies because they’re real!

Fall is here and a lot of folks are already making plans for Halloween. Some of our co-workers are already offering us treats, so we’re contemplating the relative merits of temporarily increasing our sugar intake. We’re also thinking about boosting our fear factor this year by costuming family members – and maybe ourselves – as invasive bugs. (Zombies seem to have lost their cache, don’t you think?) Our partners at Don’t Move Firewood are offering quite an extensive mask collection for download here.

Invasive GALS still a threat to South Florida

GALS Billboard2The giant African land snail is a prime example of a serious invasive species infestation. Currently our FDACS-DPI teams are working to eradicate the invasive mollusk from residential areas of Miami-Dade and Broward counties. In October we will be urging residents of those counties to “Look for It! Report It!” via radio and television spots, billboards, bus benches and local media. If you see anything that looks like the GALS, don’t touch it. Instead, visit the GALS website and check the snail identification fact sheet or call the Helpline, 1-888-397-1517.

Celebrate Museum Day Live! At the Florida Agricultural Museum this Saturday

The Florida Agricultural Museum is offering free admission on Saturday, Sept. 27, to mark Museum Day Live! A nationwide event. Two free tickets per family may be obtained from the Smithsonian Magazine website . The Florida Agricultural Museum is a 460-acre living history celebrating Florida agriculture through historic structures, farm equipment, heritage livestock and heirloom gardens. It is located at 7900 Old Kings Road, Palm Coast and will be open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Museum Day Live!

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