Florida's bug researchers have a big task at hand: dealing with a new invasion of up to 24 different and new insects that have made it across our borders over the last few years.
Some are resistant to chemicals and traditional methods of eradicating them. Others, they don't even have a name for yet.
For example, the psyllids are a tiny, almost microscopic pest that thrive living in Lakewood jasmine. So, if you have that particular kind of jasmine growing in your yard, you could actually be hurting your own gardens and nearby citrus groves.
The psyllids have been a problem for citrus growers for years, but now there are new bugs making the scene. The new kid on the block is the brown marmorated stink bug. It has unique coloring to it, with blue and copper hues on its back. There is no known predator for it. The BMSB, as it's referred to, is believed to have been a stowaway on snowbird's RVs and has been spotted in campgrounds and mobile home parks in Hillsborough County.
There's also a large, gray slug that has entomologists at UF puzzled for the moment. They've seen foreign snails from imported orchid plants before, and there's the Cuban brown snail as well. But this new gray slug is a mystery. Biosecurity researchers are not sure which country it came from, or how it got here.
If you have damage to your citrus crops or other plants, you can bring the bug if you can capture it, or a leaf/branch sample to your extension agent. They can give you a free assessment and may be able to pinpoint what your garden trouble is. Click on this link below to learn more:
You can also click on this YouTube link, to get a better look at the slugs researchers at the University of Florida are investigating right now.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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