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Florida Receiving Federal Funds to Fight Pests

If you read last week’s post about California’s citrus pest problem, you may not be surprised to hear that the federal government is about to give the state of Florida over $6 million to fight pest infestations. Unlike the California situation, however, these funds are meant to prevent harmful infestations rather than to treat existing bug problems.

Florida is one of the most naturally diverse and insect-dense states in the country. The state has a thriving agricultural market and many of its crops are sold all over the US. Oranges, Key Limes, nuts, and even coffee are grown in Florida due to the state’s mild temperatures and heavy, predictable rain falls. With all these plants, however, comes a host of bugs looking for a free meal.

The US Government has agreed to fund FL $6,000,000 for the continued treatment and prevention of invasive species that threaten the states profit crops and therefore the entire country’s supply. Some of the most harmful bugs found in Florida include Giant African Land Snails, giant mosquitoes, and aphids. A host of other, more exotic bugs also call Florida home, but most do not pose any immediate threat to plant life, although some prey on bugs who actually do more good than harm when it comes to crops.

Bees, for example, have gained a lot of attention lately for their dwindling numbers. This is concerning particularly in areas like Florida where their pollination routines influence the abundance and success of certain plant species.

The money provided by the federal government will not only be used to combat snails and other invasive species, it will also be spread out throughout the state as well. Citrus pest prevention, insect awareness campaigns, and even dog-detection teams will be funded by the money. Florida hopes to educate not only home gardeners and farmers but the general public about the threats certain bugs pose to the health of the state’s plants.

Florida has had a particularly warm winter which means 2013 may well be a strong season for bugs. Even termites, which thrive in warm places, are poised to come roaring alive once summer hits so it’s important for all Florida residents to consult with a local pest care professional as soon as possible. Protecting a home or business from the threat of an infestation takes more than one application of a pesticide – it’s a multiple-step process that’s best handled by a pest professional.

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