Protecting Workers and Zika Virus

Tips from UF/IFAS Extension mosquito experts and OSHA/NIOSH to protect outside workers to Zika virus exposure. The two mosquito species implicated in Zika outbreaks in other countries are established in Florida. They are the yellow fever mosquito,Aedes aegypti and its close relative the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus.

Rainy days are here, and Floridians can help reduce the possibility of future problems with Zika by reducing populations of these two mosquitoes, by eliminating sources of standing water. UF/IFAS Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory (FMEL) Mosquito expert Roxanne Connelly, offers these 10 tips and facts:MosquitoandZika

For Example:

Scout your property once a week, preferably after a rain storm. Go out and look for standing water (we’ve supplied a list of places to check, below.) When you find standing water, the   options are to Move, Maintain or Modify the container. If portable, Move to dry conditions or discard. If the item is designed to hold water… keep reading more about prevention tips 

In your garden or nursery, flushing out bromeliads with fresh water to control mosquito breeding grounds.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have released a fact sheet on Interim Guidance for Protecting Workers from Occupational Exposure to Zika Virus.

• Inform workers about their risks of exposure to Zika virus through mosquito bites andtrain them how to protect themselves. Check the CDC Zika website to find Zika-affected areas.

• Provide insect repellents and encourage their use according to the guidance below.

• Provide workers with, and encourage them to wear, clothing that covers their hands, arms, legs, and other exposed skin. Consider providing workers with hats with mosquito netting to protect the face and neck.

Download the OSHA/NIOSH Fact sheet

For more information on Zika from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer services go to HERE


Q-Biotype Whitefly threat:

Cindy McKenzie, Ph.D., Entomologist, USDA, ARS, and Lance S. Osborne, Ph.D., University of Florida, IFAS report that unfortunately, we have a developing whitefly issue in Florida. We are having major issues managing 2 biotypes in a number of areas in South Florida. Both biotypes are referred to as Bemisia tabaci. The Q biotype has been detected in a number of landscapes in Palm Beach County.

This is the VERY FIRST TIME it has been found in a landscape or outside a greenhouse or nursery since it was found on an ornamental plant in a greenhouse many years ago (2004-2005). This is extremely troubling considering the issues we have with many of the tools we use to manage whiteflies.


Q-biotype whitefly is already resistant to a number of products commonly used. We are concerned that insecticide overuse may already be leading to B-biotype resistance

For a complete list of resources from the University of Florida MREC website (Dr. Osborne), click READ BEMISIA

Now more than ever, you will need to use and maintain the viability of effective insecticide tools.

Whitefly close up

  • Nursery Growers Need to Make Insurance Decisions Soon

    USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) reminds Florida nursery growers the final date to apply for crop insurance coverage is May 1. Current policyholders who wish to make changes to their existing coverage also have until the May 1 sales closing date to do so. Growers applying for the first time may purchase coverage at any time.

    Growers are encouraged to visit their crop insurance agent soon to learn specific details for the 2017 crop year. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator.

  • Farmers can use the RMA Cost Estimator to get a premium amount estimate of their insurance needs online. Learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at

PEST ALERT: A New Whitefly in Florida

A new whitefly was identified from a heavily infested Ixora hedge a in residential area of St. Petersburg, FL.

The scientific name is: Asiothrixus antidesmae (previously Aleurothrixus antidesmae).

Is an AsNew whitefly in Floridaian species known in the New World only from Puerto Rico and Guadeloupe.


Infested plants may become covered by wax  produced by the whitefly and by black sooty molds that proliferate on honeydew excreted by the whitefly.

Host plants: 

Currently found only in Ixora sp. There is no known predator or parasitoid of A. antidesmae.

The original Pest Alert was released by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS): Read the alert Here 


Ian Stocks,, Taxonomic Entomologist, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry. Phone: 352-395-4677


This is a wholesale trade show featuring native landscape plants and select green products for the landscape industry. Growers from throughout Florida and the Southeastern U.S. are invited to exhibit native plants. Attendees include landscape architects, designers, installers, maintenance professionals, municipalities, arborists and other professionals interested in sustainable landscaping.

EXHIBITORS: Exhibitors include native plant growers and green goods and services.

Many presentations and registration information Click HERE


Continuing education courses for landscape architects, designers, contractors, inspectors and arborists — ASLA, APLD, FNGLA, ISA.

Exhibition Building, Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee


  • Early Bird Discount ends after Friday, March 25, 2016
  • March 31-April 1, 2016 – 3rd Annual Native Plant Show!