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.