Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dengue Fever in Florida

Mosquito bite prevention more important than ever.

Twenty (20) human cases of dengue fever (acquired locally) have been reported in Monroe County (South Florida) over the last few weeks.

But it was just announced that a recent survey (with blood tests) of 240 residents showed "that 41 percent had been exposed to the dengue virus or other Flavivirus, either through exposure to one of the viruses or through vaccinations, such as the yellow fever vaccine."

While UF medical entomologists and DOH researchers do not expect the outbreak to spread beyond Monroe County, they do agree it is time for Florida residents to take a more active approach to prevention of mosquito-borne diseases.

For information about mosquito repellants (really good info here): http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in419

For more information on Dengue virus see this link: http://www.cdc.gov/Dengue/

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Citrus Scab

Are your clients with citrus having these symptoms on their tree?

Water is the single most important factor affecting the severity of this disease.

This disease should be controlled mainly on fruit intended for the fresh market. It is only a serious disease on certain varities of citrus. It mainly affects lemon, Murcotts, Minneola and Temple varieties and is often a problem on grapefruit.

For more information about this disease, its causes and control see this link: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/CH014

Monday, November 16, 2009

Festive Fun at First Annual Farm City Week

Come enjoy the festivities and see the past, present and future of Pinellas County Agriculture at the Farm-City Week celebration. It will be held at Heritage Village. It starts at 9 AM and goes until 4 PM. Pick up your fresh veggies and more for Thanksgiving dinner at the Market in the Park. Sample grove and dairy treats, play old time games, learn about Ag-oil and more. There is fun for the whole family.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Giant Larva Eats Plumeria

This is the stunningly beautiful larva of the very plain looking tetrio sphinx moth. One of its favorite host plants is Plumeria. If clients are complaining about something chewing up their Plumeria, this is most likely the culprit. We have had two samples of these colorful caterpillars recently brought to our help desk.

See more about this amazing insect here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in621

Monday, November 2, 2009

Twig Borers Cause Brown Tips on Oaks

Are you seeing oaks with brown tips? It could be caused by twig borers, tiny beetles that bore into branches.

These borers introduce a fungus that kills the branch from the point where the beetle has entered the branch to the branch tip. Often this is the last one to 2 feet of the branch. The fungus serves as the food source for the immatures. The entrance holes are very tiny and hard to see with the naked eye. However, a quick look under a microscope or hand lens may reveal the tiny, round hole, almost machine drilled in its appearance.

Twig borers are common on many kinds of trees in our area, including red maple, oaks and some other trees. The damage is usually more cosmetic than threatening to the tree. Eventually the dead branch tips drop to the ground. Insecticidal treatment is usually not necessary.

More information about twig borers can be found here: http://www.entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/trees/black_twig_borer.htm