University of Florida

UF Expert Says With Hurricane Season Approaching, Citizen Response Teams Need Volunteers

Topic(s): Disaster Preparedness

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Southern states most often wracked by hurricanes are ahead of the nation when it comes to preparing citizens to help in a disaster, but there are still plenty of volunteer gaps that need to be filled, a University of Florida researcher says.

And with hurricane season beginning Sunday, there’s no better time for residents to volunteer for disaster teams in their area, said Mark Brennan, a rural sociologist with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences who has written extensively on volunteerism. (more …)

Genetic Pesticide Developed in UF Lab

Topic(s): Entomology and Nematology, Household Pests, Pests, RECs, Research
  • By:
    Stu Hutson – (352) 392-0400
  • Source:
    Michael Scharf – mescharf@ufl.edu, (352) 392-1901 x143

abnormal termite molting
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Each year in the United States, termites gnaw away more than $1 billion in structural damage despite an ever growing array of insect control techniques. In this battle, the next generation of weapons could target the termite’s very genes.

“The trend in insect control is to find methods that eliminate the problematic insect without affecting anything else in the environment,” said Michael Scharf, an entomologist with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “What could possibly be more specific than genes that are unique to the insect itself?” (more …)

Florida Python Invasion: Expanded and Still Growing, UF Researcher Says

Topic(s): Invasive Species
  • By:
    Mickie Anderson (352) 273-3566
  • Source:
    Frank Mazzotti, fjma@ufl.edu, (954) 577-6338

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The invasion of gigantic Burmese pythons in South Florida appears to be rapidly expanding, according to a new report from a University of Florida researcher who’s been chasing the snakes since 2005.

Associate professor Frank Mazzotti of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has published a new fact sheet outlining updated python statistics and methods being used to find and eliminate the snakes. (more …)

Microgreens Get Florida Farmers Thinking Small

Topic(s): Agriculture, Extension, Lawn & Garden, Vegetables
  • By:
    Stu Hutson – (352) 273-3569
  • Source:
    Robert Hochmuth – bobhoch@ufl.edu, (386) 362-1725, x103

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Every year for nearly two decades, Florida farmers have gathered at the Suwannee Valley Twilight Field Day to hone their craft, often learning how to grow more luscious and larger fruits and vegetables. This year, however, there was a new lesson being offered: how to grow small.

Dubbed one of 2008’s culinary buzzwords by National Public Radio, microgreens – vegetables harvested soon after sprouting – are expected to be one of this summer’s hottest food trends, as well as a boon to small specialty farms that provide them to restaurants and farmers’ markets. (more …)

UF/IFAS and Florida Sea Grant Help Prepare Anglers for New Regulations

Topic(s): Announcements, Conservation
  • By:
    Stu Hutson – (352) 273-3569
  • Sources:
    Chuck Adams – cmadams@ufl.edu, (352) 392-1826 x223
    Bryan Fluech – fluech@ufl.edu, (239) 247-3946

fish venting
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Some saltwater anglers are purists – they would fish with the simplest rod and reel. Others won’t leave dock without gear sophisticated enough for military operations.

No matter what their inclination, as of June 1st many anglers will have to add three tools to their tackle boxes. New state and federal regulations will require fishermen angling for reef species in the Gulf of Mexico to carry circle hooks when fishing with natural bait, a dehooking device and a venting tool. (more …)

UF Web Cams Give Curious Glimpse into Daily Lives of Ants and Termites

Topic(s): Entomology and Nematology, Household Pests, Pests

Roberto Pereira, left, adds a few drops of water to attract ants that appear on UF's Web cam
View Photo

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The daily adventures of live termite and ant colonies are now available on two Web cameras at the University of Florida, giving viewers an inside look at what happens when these pests invade a home.

The Web cams watch the colonies around the clock and are meant for consumers, pest control operators, students and science teachers, and anyone else who wants to learn more about these common household pests, said Phil Koehler, an entomologist with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (more …)

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