Thursday, October 30, 2014

Look Out for State's Top 10 CREEPY Crawlers This Halloween

Contact: Erin Gillespie
October 30, 2014
Twitter: @FDACSNews

Look Out for State’s Top 10 CREEPY Crawlers This Halloween
Tallahassee, FL – The building houses Florida’s most terrifying creatures. Some are collected and stored in drawers for visitors to browse, while others are being poked and prodded in the laboratory.

It’s not a home for mad scientists. It’s the State Collection of Arthropods at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in Gainesville, home to more than 9 million insects, arachnids and other creepy crawlers. The museum is part of an effort to stop the spread of invasive or dangerous bugs in Florida in order to protect humans, agriculture, the environment and our food supply.

Fearsome creatures try to invade Florida every day, with the goal to rule their newfound habitat. Our department inspectors are the “Men in Black” who stop them in their tracks.

This Halloween, look out for these 10 icky creepy crawly invasive bugs you might come upon in Florida:

Photo courtesy University of Florida-IFAS
10. Love bugs: Although invasive, love bugs are generally harmless, except to your car’s paint. Love bugs congregate in swarms of hundreds and are a big nuisance for motorists. After love bugs die, the fatty tissue left behind will stain your clothing and also cause holes to form in the paint on a car if not removed quickly.

Oriental Fruit Fly: AdultsOriental Fruit Fly: Adult
9. Oriental fruit fly: In August, the department identified one Oriental fruit fly during routine trapping in Broward County. Two months later amid increased early detection efforts, no other fruit fly has been found. The species is one of the most serious exotic fruit fly pests in the world and attacks more than 100 types of fruits, vegetables and nuts.

Fig 3. Adult fig whitefly.

8. Florida whitefly: This invasive species continues to infest South Florida landscapes, in particular ficus trees. These insects typically feed on the underside of leaves with a needle-like mouth and can suck the juice out of plants until they die. The goo from this process drips down onto vehicles and sidewalks making it an major urban nightmare.

Lateral view of xyleborus glabratus female

7. Redbay ambrosia beetle: Another non-native insect, this beetle spreads the fungus that causes laurel wilt, which is threatening the multi-million dollar avocado industry in Florida.
6. Mexican red-rump tarantula: This exotic arachnid will eat anything in its path including insects, spiders, other arthropods, snakes, lizards, frogs – to date, humans are not on the menu.

Female chilean recluse
5. Brown recluse spider: This non-native arachnid has six eyes arranged in three pairs and will bite if they come in close contact with humans and feel threatened. Recluse bites can produce necrosis, with severe pain and swelling around the bite and then a deep wound around the dead tissue. The most dangerous is the Chilean recluse, which has been found on one occasion in Central Florida.


4. Africanized honey bee: All bees in Florida that are not kept by beekeepers are considered Africanized or a hybrid bee. Since the Africanized bees spread to the United States, they have taken over colonies and caused many injuries and some deaths. If you have a wild bee hive in your yard, it is imperative that you take precautions and never try removal without a certified beekeeper.

Picture: Conehead termiteNasutitermes Corniger (Conehead Termite): adults
3. Conehead termite: This invasive termite, found only in Broward County, was already eradicated from the United States once. It attacks wood structures and can cause widespread damage to buildings and homes. They do not respond to typical termite treatment and they swarm each spring to invade further. The termites are about the size of a grain of rice and the soldier males have cone-shaped heads.

2. Giant African land snail: This snail (GALS for short) was first found in Florida in 2011 and an intensive eradication program is ongoing. More than 151,000 of the large and slimy snails have been collected and destroyed, but the snails were recently found for the first time in Broward County. These snails can grow to more than eight inches long, eat more than 500 different types of plants and stucco, and can carry rat lungworm that can cause meningitis. If you see a Giant African Land Snail, call our help line at 888-397-1517.

Adult Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama.

Love bug photo courtesy University of Florida-IFAS

1. Asian citrus psyllid: This tinybut lethal, bug infects citrus trees throughout Florida with a disease known as citrus greening. Greening is now present in the majority of Florida’s groves and all citrus-producing counties. The department is partnering with the federal government and other states and countries to research the psyllid and disease in order to find a cure to save the iconic Florida citrus industry, which has a $9 billion economic impact and supports 75,000 jobs.

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services,

Fri, 10/31/14 SEAHAWK SCOOP

Boat inspections for shelling program to be held on Friday

                        There will be boat inspections for people taking part in the upcoming shelling program Friday and next week in Eastpoint and Apalachicola.
Inspections will take place from ten till one on Friday in Eastpoint at Rocky Moore’s lot on HWY 98 and in Apalachicola at the old STEAMERS property off HWY 98 
Inspections will also be held November the7th  at the same locations.

The boat inspections will look for
your current registration and proper display of decal and FL registration numbers.

Participating boats will also be required to have a Coast Guard approved Personal flotation device properly sized and serviceable for each person on-board as well as at least 1 throw cushion or ring buoy,  3 coast guard approved day/night flairs and 1 sound producing device like a Horn or Whistle.
They will also be checking to make sure you have the proper lighting and have a fire extinguisher on board.
And even if your Vessel passes the inspection and receives an inspection decal, remember your boat is still subject to inspection at any time while on the water

Rates for Gulf Power customers to increase next year

Gulf Power customers will see higher bills beginning with the new year.

The Florida’s Public Service Commission set fuel recovery charges for four of Florida’s investor-owned electric utilities this month.

Every year the Florida Public Service Commission has to decide how much of the cost each of Florida’s power companies can recovery on fuel and purchased power, capacity, conservation, and environmental requirements. 

Utilities cannot make a profit on fuel charges.

Beginning in January, Gulf Power customers will see the cost of 1000 kilowatts of electricity increase from $132.00 to $139.29.

Duke Energy Florida’s recovery charges will be decided at the Public Service Commission’s hearing on November 25.

Watch out for trick or treaters in Apalachicola tonight

Trick or treating is taking place in the City of Apalachicola tonight and that means there will be more children than usual outside after dark so drivers should stay extra alert.

Neighborhoods that do not normally have a lot of pedestrian and bicycle traffic will likely see some tonight.

And since the kids will be in a rush to hit as many houses as possible, it is up to the adults to be as careful as possible.

Trick-or-treaters may suddenly dart into traffic from between parked cars so be particularly cautious in areas where cars are parked along the side of the street.

Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood.

And most of all, Be patient and SLOW DOWN.

Give children lots of time to cross the street.

Their costumes may impair their ability to see and hear you, and to get out of your way quickly.

October 30, 2014 Florida State Parks Newsletter

Fall colors in Florida State Parks
Florida Department of Environmental ProtectionOctober 30, 2014 Newsletter
Veterans Day is Tuesday, November 11
~Enjoy free entry at Florida State Parks on Veterans Day.~   
Three Soldiers Detail statue at Orman House Historic State Park.
The Three Soldiers Detail at Orman House Historic State Park.
Every year, citizens across the United States take a day out of their busy lives to honor and thank those who have served in the United States military. Veterans Day honors and demonstrates respect for those who have served our nation and focuses on celebrating their lives and commitment to the United States. This year, Veterans Day will be observed on Tuesday, Nov. 11.
Veterans Day began as a commemoration of the point in which an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. After much deliberation between what the day should officially be named and when it should be held, the United States officially recognized Nov. 11 as Veterans Day every year.
The Florida Park Service is proud to observe Veterans Day each year by offering a day of free entry for everyone into any Florida state park, excluding Skyway Fishing Pier State Park, on Nov. 11. The Florida Park Service encourages visitors to celebrate the day in a state park, while remembering the sacrifices United States veterans have made throughout history.
Gather family and friends on Nov. 11 and enjoy free entry to a state park. You can go for a hike, take a tour or plan a special red, white and blue themed picnic in a Florida state park. Also, while you are spending your day off in nature, remember to thank military personnel for their service and commitment to the United States.
View the Beautiful Nature of Florida State Parks
~Discover the flora and fauna of Florida State Parks this November.~
A butterfly on a flower at Washington Oaks Gardens
A butterfly perched on a flower at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park.
Florida’s state parks are known for their incomparable natural beauty. From South Florida’s mangrove swamps to Central Florida’s prairies and North Florida’s springs, Florida’s state parks provide plenty of reasons to discover nature throughout the state. Whether you are someone who wishes to capture the moment through a camera or a person who wants to soak in the sights and sounds of nature, Florida State Parks have an abundance of events to keep you occupied and loving the environment.
Participate in one of our many nature photography walks, where visitors can join photographers and other nature enthusiasts and work to capture the perfect photo at Big Talbot Island State Park or at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park. Visitors can also join in on Washington Oaks Gardens State Park’s Third Saturday Photo Challenge for a day-long photographic extravaganza.
Plant enthusiasts have many opportunities throughout the month to view the beautiful flora of Florida’s state parks. On the first of the month, visitors can join wildflower experts, Roger Hammer and Craig Huegel, for a stroll throughKissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park to learn more about the prairie wildflowers and other flora throughout the park. If you’re interested in learning more about which plants are native to Florida’s wildlife and environment, join the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council at Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach and learn about exotic plant removal and planting native plants in Florida.
Wildlife encounters and educational wildlife walks are prevalent throughout Florida's state parks in November. On three different occasions, visitors can meet at O’Leno State Park to meet the eastern screech owl, Peach. Bird walks at Bald Point State ParkFort Cooper State ParkEllie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and Rainbow Springs State Parkallow for visitors to learn more from bird enthusiasts and enjoy a nice walk through the park.
See a full list of events at the Florida State Parks events page and more events and times below:
  • Sat. Nov. 1 – Prairie Wildflower Walk with Roger Hammer and Craig Huegel at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park in Okeechobee from9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Sat. Nov. 1 – Snakes of North Florida at O’Leno State Park in High Springs at 2:00 p.m.
  • Sat. Nov. 1 – North Atlantic Right Whales at Fort George Island Cultural State Park in Jacksonville at 2:00 p.m.
  • Sat. Nov. 1 – Waterlogged: Manatees in Wetlands at San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park in St. Marks from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Sat. Nov. 1Sat. Nov. 15 and Sat. Nov. 29 – Nature Photography at Big Talbot Island State Park in Jacksonville at 10:00 a.m.
  • Thu. Nov. 6 – Dade Tree Walk at Dade Battlefield Historic State Park in Bushnell from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Sat. Nov. 8Sat. Nov. 22 and Sat. Nov. 29 – Wildlife Encounters atO’Leno State Park in High Springs at 10:00 a.m.
  • Sat. Nov. 8 – Nature Photography Workshop – Critters in the Park atJohn D. MacArthur Beach State Park in North Palm Beach from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Sat. Nov. 8 – Plant This Not That at Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach in Flagler Beach from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Sat. Nov. 15 – A Guided Walk with the Shorebirds at Bald Point State Park in Alligator Point from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.
  • Sat. Nov. 15 – Talbot Critters at Fort George Island Cultural State Parkin Jacksonville at 2:00 p.m.
  • Sat. Nov. 15 – Third Saturday Photo Challenge at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park in Palm Coast from 8:00 a.m. until sunset.
  • Sat. Nov. 22 – Bird Walk at Fort Cooper State Park in Inverness at 8:00 a.m.
  • Sat. Nov. 22 – Monthly Bird Walk on Pepper Creek Trail at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park in Homosassa from 7:45 to 9:30 a.m.
  • Sat. Nov. 29 – Bird Walk with Citrus County Audubon at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunnellon at 8:00 a.m.
  • Thanksgiving is Thursday, November 27
    ~Florida State Parks are open for Thanksgiving.~   
    A turkey at Kissimmee Prairie
    A turkey at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park.
    On Thursday, Nov. 27, many families in America will join together for Thanksgiving Day. The Florida Park Service invites you to plan a picnic in a park with Thanksgiving food and enjoy the fall air as you give thanks with family and friends. The Florida Park Service would like to remind visitors that most of Florida’s state parks will be open on Thanksgiving Day. After you finish your Thanksgiving meal, enjoy the many recreational opportunities offered at Florida’s state parks.
    Most of Florida's state parks will be open during their regular hours of 8:00 a.m. to sunset.
    See below parks that will be open, but will not be offering all regular services:
  • De Leon Springs State Park in De Leon Springs - Sugarmill Restaurant closed 
  • Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna - No cave tours
  • Fort George Island Cultural State Park in Jacksonville - Ribault Clubhouse closed
  • Gamble Plantation Historic State Park in Ellenton - Mansion closed
  • Gasparilla Island State Park in Boca Grande - Lighthouse museum closed
  • Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park in Cross Creek - No guided tours
  • See below the parks that will be closed on Thanksgiving day:
  • Constitution Convention Museum State Park in Port St. Joe
  • Forest Capital Museum State Park in Perry
  • John Gorrie Museum State Park in Apalachicola
  • Orman House Historic State Park in Apalachicola
  • San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park in St. Marks
  • The Barnacle Historic State Park in Coconut Grove
  • Ybor City Museum State Park in Tampa
  • Have a happy Thanksgiving.
    More Events in November Upcoming Special Events
    Other Important News
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