Thursday, December 11, 2008

New Pest on Eucalyptus Causes Galls

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced that a eucalyptus pest, Leptocybe invasa (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), of a genus and species new to Florida and North America was recently discovered in Broward County, Florida.

"The blue gum chalcid, as it is known, produces galls in the form of distinct swellings on the petioles, leaf midribs and stems on new foliage of both young and mature trees. Galling causes the leaves to curl and may stunt the growth and weaken the trees; thus L. invasa can cause substantial damage or death to young trees. The impact on adult trees is not known."
A link to the announcement is available on the UF/IFAS Pest Alert site.

The UF/IFAS Pest Alert WWW site is available at .
Instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing to the UF/IFAS Pest Alert listserv are available on site.
Thomas R. Fasulo
extension entomologist
University of Florida

Monday, November 3, 2008

Water Restrictions Tightening

SWFWMD has decided to tighten the watering restrictions for Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties. The SWFWMD news release is located here:

Also, attached is a fact sheet for St. Petersburg's water customers, since their restrictions differ from what is normally published; the website is another source of information.

The main points - they will no longer be sending warnings to violators, but will go directly to citations that carry fines. Also, hand watering and micro-irrigation are now limited to between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.. New lawn renovations shall be postponed. Aesthetic fountains and waterfalls, including those on stormwater ponds (unless ponds are augmented with reclaimed water) are limited to four hours of operation a day.

Free Chemical Removal - Operation Cleansweep

Do you have any cancelled, suspended or unusable pesticides that you need to dispose of?

Take advantage of this free program which will pick up from your facility. They need a sufficient quantity of product in a defined area to schedule a pick-up, so the more people that call the better.

See this website for more information

Remember: December 15 is the deadline for requesting a pickup.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Please Help Us Help You!

Here at Pinellas County Extension we strive to deliver the most current research based information available.

This year we began using blogs like this one and several others to make that information even more accessible. To help make sure that you as the reader are getting the most from our blogs we would like you to take a short survey. Please select the link below to access the online survey. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and your responses will be completely anonymous.

Thank you for your time and continued support.

Monday, October 20, 2008

New Insecticide for Chinch Bugs, etc.

On August 28, the FDACS conditionally approved the registration of Dupont’s insecticide chlorantraniliprole (Acelepryn®) to control chinch bug, white grubs, and lepidopteran pests on turf grass, ornamentals, landscapes (interior/exterior), soil areas, and other sites. The EPA registration number is 352-731. (FDACS PREC Agenda, 10/2/08).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sevin Use May Be Terminated

Manufacturers of the insecticide carbaryl (Sevin®) have voluntarily requested amendment
of the registrations of that pesticide such that it would terminate uses in pets (except collars), pet premises, and all indoor applications. It would also terminate ULV application for adult mosquito control, and all applications by backpack sprayers. Lastly, it would terminate broadcast application of liquid formulation of carbaryl to residential lawns. The EPA is taking comments. Please contact the PIO if you would like to comment. (Federal Register, 8/20/08).

Other termination uses include: on wheat, millet, cotton, and fresh/succulent shelled beans and
peas (subgroup 6B), preplant dip or drench of seedlings or seed pieces, use on poultry or in
poultry houses. It would also terminate dust formulations on agricultural crops, application of granular formulations to leafy vegetables (except brassica).

To see the full article: Visit Chemically Speaking on the Web at: Speaking, September 2008 Page 6

Thursday, October 9, 2008

More Opportunities Available!

A full day learning about bed bug control using mobil fumigation trucks and heat treatment, plus bed bug biology and research updates were taught.
Differences in inspection time and accuracy were compared - dogs overwhelming beat humans in this task! This was a grant funded training, so it was free and CEU were provided.
If you missed it and need GHP, termite or fumigation CEUs please sign up for Pinellas County Extension's December 2nd class at and select "online class registration" button.

GHP Windfall - More Roaches to Control

UF entomologists warn that several new species of cockroaches may one day become common in Florida and the rest of the southern U.S.

As if Floridians aren’t bugged enough by roaches, a growing interest among reptile enthusiasts to farm the insects as lizard food could result in several new cockroach varieties invading the state, University of Florida entomologists warn.

Phil Koehler and Roberto Pereira, researchers with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, wrote an article in last month’s Florida Pest Pro magazine, alerting pest control operators and homeowners to be on the lookout for several new species of cockroach.

Their main worry is the Turkestan cockroach, which has made itself at home in the southwest United States after being brought in by military personnel and equipment returning from the Middle East.

The other types of roach they say Floridians could soon be in danger of stepping on include the Madagascar hissing roach, the lobster roach and the orange spotted roach, none of which are known to be established in the state.

“We have 69 species of cockroaches in the United States and 29 of them were brought in from other countries,” said Koehler, an entomology professor. “And now we have these new species being shipped into the state.”

Pointing at a hefty, 3-inch-long Madagascar hissing roach, he noted wryly: “People just won’t like having that around their house.”

Caladium & Landscape Field Day

CEUs offered. For information about the upcoming (Oct 14th) Caladium and Landscape field day at the UF/IFAS Balm Research and Education Center please visit:

Friday, September 5, 2008

For All Your Disaster Needs

The University of Florida has a comprehensive "what to do" guide to help you prepare and deal with disasters.

With Ike breathing down our necks, this is a good time for sound advice and guidance on what to do to protect yourself, your family, your home and your business. In this handbook you will find information such as: how to prepare; what supplies to have on hand; checklists of things to do; managing stress and much more.

To see this handbook go to this web link:

Prepare for the worst, but expect the best!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Disaster Program - Risk Reduction

With T.S. Fay making its way through the state, wanted to make sure everyone is aware that under the new Supplemental Agriculture Disaster Programs included in the 2008 Farm Bill, producers must have crop insurance or non-insured crop disaster assistance (NAP) coverage for the land for which assistance is being requested, and for all farms in all counties in which they have an interest, including grazing lands in order to be eligible to participate in the disaster programs.

Since the 2008 Act was enacted after the application periods had closed for those programs, producers who did not have such coverage could not comply with this requirement in order to be eligible for the new disaster programs. However, the 2008 Act authorizes a waiver that allows producers to pay a fee, called a "buy-in" fee, to be eligible for this new disaster assistance.

The buy-in fee for 2008 eligibility only for either the catastrophic risk protection insurance (CAT) or NAP is $100 per crop, but not more than $300 per producer per administrative county, or $900 total per producer for all counties less any previously paid fees for CAT and/or NAP. Producers can contact their local administrative Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Office to file the application for waiver and pay the applicable fees. Pinellas calls 813-752-1474.

The buy-in fee is due no later than Sept. 16, 2008, 90 days after the date of enactment, as required by the 2008 Act. Those who miss this opportunity will not be eligible for disaster assistance. Producers are also reminded that the payment of the applicable buy-in fee does not afford the producer crop insurance or NAP coverage; it only affords eligibility for the 2008 disaster programs.

The following programs are included in the Supplemental Agriculture Disaster Program in the Farm Bill:

Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) Program
Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP)
Tree Assistance Program (TAP)
Emergency Assistance Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP)

Note: While the Livestock Indemnity Program is part of the Supplemental Agriculture Disaster Program, it is exempt from the CAT/NAP purchase requirement.

Fact Sheet on the 2008 Crop Year Buy-in for Disaster Assistance Programs.

An additional note: In order for our producers to be eligible for this program, we will have to ask for a USDA Secretarial Disaster Declaration in addition to the Presidential Disaster Declaration that is requested during storms/hurricanes. We work closely with FSA during these times so please feel free to send any loss estimates and data that become available as the storm exits the state to my email ( or Nelson Mongiovi at

Thanks and good luck!

P.S. I know that most of you are aware of this already but just thought I would send a gentle reminder. I also understand that there are some citrus issues that have arisen with this buy-in and are currently being worked on.

Leslie Palmer-Boxold
Federal State Director Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
(850) 410-6726 Office
(850) 922-4936 Fax
(850) 251-1310 Mobile

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hurricane Prep Check List for Nurseries

Get Ready! Here is a quick list for nurseries to get prepared for a hurricane:

Remember. . .Hurricane season is not over until November 30th and this year is expected to have higher than normal activity. Please be prepared.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bed Bug Control, Containerized Fumigation and Other Control Measures

Great on-site class with UF instructors for you, plus CEUs.

When: Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where: Pinellas County Extension Service, 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL 33774

Time: 8:30 AM check in; Class 9 AM to 4:45 PM

CEUs: 2 GHP; 2 fumigation; 3? Core
For complete class information see flyer:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Spinosyn Use Suspended in Two Counties

Dow AgroSciences announced today that it is voluntarily suspending the sale and use of multiple spinosyn insecticides in Broward County and a portion of Palm Beach County in Florida. This action has been taken in response to evidence that western flower thrips have developed resistance to a product with the active ingredient spinosad. Full article:

Prevent resistance in Pinellas County by using the following information and guidelines. For information about pesticide modes of action and preventing pesticide resistance see this publication:
For information about possible reasons why a pesticide is not working see this publication:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Free Class Offered on Texas Phoenix Palm Decline

When: Thursday, September 11, 2008, 9AM to 12:30 PM

Where: UF Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Balm, FL

Register: Carol Carson 813-744-5519 x 104, or

Thursday, July 31, 2008

First Formosan Subterranean Termite Found in Pinellas

The highly destructive Formosan subterranean termite has been found in a Gulfport home, the first ever sighting of the most dreaded of all termites in Pinellas County.

The "super termite" was confirmed by the University of Florida Thursday morning.

For management and other information about this pest see this publication:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Surviving Difficult Times in the Green Industry

Mark your calendar and invest in your business by attending this workshop on risk and financial management. Seating is very limited, so sign up today! Click on link below for class flyer.

When: Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Where: Pinellas County Extension Service, 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo
Time: 9AM till 2 PM. Come early to check-in.

Register with: Delores McClendon, 727-582-2131 or

Palm Diseases Fact Sheet

Here is a great fact sheet about the new palm diseases that you can use for a reference or to send/give to your clientele (click on link below).

According to Dr. Monica Elliott it will be difficult to distinguish Texas Phoenix Palm Decline (TPPD) from the other problems that affect sabal palms. So far, the primary distinguishing feature about this disease is the premature death of the spear leaf (spear leaf dead/drying while next youngest leaves are green). She has seen many sabal palms in the Fort Lauderdale area (transplanted and natural areas) that have a lot of dead leaves, but they certainly are NOT infected with TPPD phytoplasma. The distinguishing feature is in observing a dead spear leaf.

Rumor has it that the general public is panicking and calling for their palms to be cut down. Let them know that the phytoplasma diseases can be controlled with oxytetracycline (OTC) injections as long as injections start before the spear leaf dies. Also, don't kill (cut down) the patient just because it may become sick.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New Disease Killing Sabal Palms

This new killer disease started with the Phoenix palms, then moved to Queen palms and now the PRELIMINARY data say its killing our state tree the Sabal palm. This is devastating news.

Sabal palmetto (cabbage palm) in Manatee County have been diagnosed with a lethal phytoplasma disease. PRELIMINARY laboratory analysis indicates that the phytoplasma that causes Texas Phoenix palm decline (TPPD) is also causing the decline of the cabbage palms. A pdf has been posted on the FLREC web site. The link is

If the link above does not work, go to the FLREC web site at, then click on "Plant Pathology", then on "Palm Diseases". The pdf is the 8th document on the list. You will also find on this page a link to the pdf with directions on how to take trunk samples for phytoplasma detection (

This is going to be an extremely difficult disease to diagnose early in the disease process. Overtrimmed palms and improperly fertilized palms in the landscape will show many other symptoms that will be unrelated to this disease. Even palms in natural settings have nutritional symptoms that will be unrelated to this disease. In other words, there are various reasons why cabbage palms will not be green all the way to the bottom of the canopy, and those reasons may have nothing to do with being infected with a phytoplasma!

The entomologist at DPI who was already beginning to investigate potential insect vectors associated with Phoenix species with TPPD will expand that survey to include cabbage palms. No one expects that identification of the vector will be achieved quickly. This will be a very long-term project.

Have you seen any Sabal palms with these symptoms???

Mosquitoes: Avoid the Bites, Stop the Breeding Sites

The latest weekly Florida Department of Health Arbovirus Summary lists numerous cases of eastern equine encephalitis virus in sentinel chickens, horses and even a dog in Florida. The Washington County Health Department has issued a mosquito-borne illness advisory.

Keep yourself safe from mosquito bites. Heed these simple things you can do around the home to keep mosquitoes from breeding and use these techniques and products to keep from being bitten. See this web link:

Drought Conditions Continue

Even with recent rains drought conditions continue throughout west-central Florida. The SWFWMD water shortage order has been extended through September 30, 2008. Please see this website for more information:

Advertise Here

Do you want to showcase your products/services to the commercial horticulture, pest control, or arborist community?

Do we have a deal for you!

At any of our training events you can purchase a display table (limited to three) to reach your target audience. December 2 and 3rd are going to be prime events for you to advertise. If you are interested, please contact Jane Morse at 582-2562. Tables are going for the bargain rate of one-hundred dollars ($100.00.). They won't last long.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Integrated Pest Management Update for Nurseries and Landscapes

The information provided at this Friday, May 23rd update is available via this blog. Some of the fantastic topics covered include palm diseases, nursery weeds, invasive insects, fire ant managment, citrus psyllid management and landscape scouting.



Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bee Informed

For information about bees, bee removal, press releases and other resources about bees see this site:

Trees for Planting Under Power Lines

Trees and power lines can often be a disastrous combination, so University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers have developed a list of small trees that have shown to be well-suited for planting below power lines.

The research was conducted by Ed Gilman, professor of environmental horticulture, and included more than 70 small trees like crape myrtle, bottlebrush, holly, and others that were thought to be compatible with urban structures such as overhead power lines, streetlights, and sidewalks. The study was co-sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry.

Power companies regularly prune to reduce electric outages caused by interfering trees. Planting small trees near power lines reduces pruning needs. Recent Florida legislation mandates that only small trees can be planted in utility rights-of-way, but there are few tests evaluating small trees.

For UF/IFAS’ complete, regional list of suitable trees for planting below power lines, see

Friday, April 25, 2008

Integrated Pest Management Update for Nurseries and Landscapers

Get the newest information on palm diseases, nursery weeds, invasive insects, citrus psyllid, fire ant management and landscape scouting. Also, new product updates.

When: May 23rd. Nursery session 8AM to Noon; Landscape session 1 to 5 PM.
Cost: $20 per session
Be on the lookout for the flyer and registration in your snail mail.

Ants, Ants, Ants (GHP & LS CEUs available)

Dr. Fred Santana, Sarasota County Extension Entomologist, will talk about and show images of some of the more commonly encountered pest and non-pest ants found in southwest Florida.

Learn some of the characteristics, habits, and behaviors, of the following species: fire ants, carpenter ants, compact carpenter ants, pharaoh ants, crazy ants, ghost ants, white-footed ants, Caribbean crazy ants, big-headed ants, Argentine ants, and rover ants.

Emphasis will be on least toxic control where possible. Super colony ants pose a special and ongoing challenge to control. You are welcome to bring samples of ants for identification.

When: May 16th from 1 to 3 PM; 12:30 registration. Cost $20.

Floriculture Field Days

FNGLA and the University of Florida are pleased to present the 2008 Floriculture Field Days taking place in Gainesville, FL on Wednesday, May 14th and Thursday, May 15th.

If you haven’t signed up to attend the Floriculture Field Days, there is still time to catch the pre-registration pricing. Registration is quick and simple! ‘CLICK HERE’ to register on-line.
Cost to attend is only $135 for all FNGLA members if you sign-up by May 4th.

This 2-day event takes place in Gainesville, FL and provides a variety of opportunities to receive the latest information in the floriculture industry. Along with cutting-edge educational programs for retailers, growers and landscape professionals, attendees will also have the opportunity to tour the University of Florida’s premiere trial gardens, local production facilities and some of Gainesville’s finest private gardens.

To view the complete program, including topics and speaker line-ups, ‘CLICK HERE
For further information, including sponsorship opportunities and hotel details, contact Julie Markowitz at the FNGLA office, 800.375.3642 or by email

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Be on the Lookout for New Invasive Pest - Sri Lanka Weevil

Look for leaf edges with notching. We recently saw this critter and its damage on India hawthorn in a median planting here in Pinellas. See this site for more information:

UF Research Shows Termite Damage Cuts Insulation Values by Nearly 75 Percent

GAINESVILLE, FLA. --- Termites aren’t just out to eat the wood in your home. A new University of Florida study shows the voracious insects like to feast on your home's insulation, too — making it nearly 75 percent less effective.

For the whole story see:

On-line CEU offerings

The UF/IFAS Pesticide Information Office has been offering online Continuing Education Unit modules for over a year now. Their library of modules is constantly growing. Currently they offer 30 quality CEU online modules available to all licensed Florida applicators. These modules can all be taken immediately online through a web browser.
Each module qualifies for one CEU credit and is organized by category. All of our modules can be found at :

They have posters and bookmarks available upon request as well.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hello Little Chinch Bug

Here is the link to a great article discussing how overfertilizing St. Augustinegrass could encourage chinch bugs This is timely information as we move toward spring and, the beginning of our very long and active growing season.