New director of UF/IFAS Extension south central district

Brenda Rogers has been named director of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension south central district. This district encompasses 11 Florida counties in southwestern Florida, from Pasco County in the north down to Collier County in the south. Rogers grew up in Manatee County, where her father was a third-generation dairy farmer and she was a member of her local 4-H club. This upbringing instilled a love  More»

Five tips to reduce mosquitoes around your home

During Florida’s wet summers, your backyard or patio area can easily become a breeding area for container mosquitoes, said Jim DeValerio, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension horticulture agent. Though there are no reports that mosquitoes are transmitting the Zika virus in Florida, residents should still take measures to prevent mosquitoes from living and breeding in their home landscapes, he  More»

Kids get hooked on science at UF/IFAS Gulf Coast REC

To the naked eye, a spider mite isn’t much to look at, but when a group of second graders huddles around one of Hugh Smith’s microscopes, they see more than just a bug. “They see a tiny monster all blown up,” said Smith, assistant professor of entomology at the University of Florida Institute of Agricultural Sciences. “They’re fascinated — some think it’s icky or scary, others think it’s cool and beautiful. I’m really  More»

Videos: Mosquito control in home landscapes

Want to know more about how you can control mosquitoes in your own back yard? Check out these recordings of a recent educational program, "Mosquitos and Zika Virus Class for Gardeners and Private Residences." This event was a collaboration of  UF/IFAS Extension St. Johns County, UF/IFAS Florida Medical Entomology Lab, the Florida Department of Health and the Anastasia Mosquito Control District. The presentations took place in St. Johns  More»

Five tips for keeping your beach clean this summer

Maia McGuire was leading middle-schoolers on a local beach clean-up when she noticed a cluster of deflated balloons on the sand. It’s not unusual to find balloons on the beach, McGuire said, but these were different: Each balloon was printed with the name of a nursing home in Texas. “Those balloons were probably the weirdest thing I’ve found on one of our beaches,” McGuire said. However, this discovery made it clear that, while beach  More»

Zika Challenge

Jim Davis is studying hard for his public health pest control license exam. In the past, getting this license wouldn’t be a usual part of his job. But with the recent public concern about the mosquito-borne Zika virus, expertise in mosquito control could soon be the norm for many University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension faculty like Davis. Davis and several others have already signed up for the UF/IFAS  More»