Every Penny Counts: Saving Money While Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

With more and more people facing financial instability, it is important to remember that during these difficult times every penny counts. What if there was a way you could lower your monthly expenses, all while reducing your greenhouse gas emissions? With environmental threats like climate change and rising sea levels this to me sounds like a double win! As we embark upon the 50th year of celebrating earth day, what better a way to celebrate than by making a few minor changes that will benefit both our pocketbooks and mother earth!

Cooling your Home

Since the Florida Keys is particularly hot, let’s begin with the cooling of your home. The air conditioning energy saving setting is 78 °F or higher. Each degree lower adds 3% to your cooling bill, while each degree higher subtracts 3% from your cooling bill. Avoid blocking AC vents with furniture for better air flow. If you use AC window units, only cool the rooms you are occupying. Try cooling rooms with a fan instead of the air conditioner. Close curtains and blinds during the day to block sunlight and keep it from heating up your home. Don’t forget to check your windows and doors for air leaks. Air leaks are equivalent to leaving an averaged sized window open in the home! Try installing weather stripping, outlet insulators, insulating foam, window putty and door sweeps to save $222 per year and cut 2835 lbs. of co2 equivalent from your greenhouse gas (GHG) emission per year.


Did you know that a ten-minute shower uses approximately 50 gallons of hot water? Heating this water alone emits 6 lbs of co2, not to mentions drives up your water and energy bills. Try aiming for a five-minute shower or possibly installing a low-flow shower head. Each of these options can save you $43 per year and cut 494 lbs. of co2 equivalent from your GHG emissions.

Heating water that is used in the household requires a lot of energy use and produces quite a bit of GHG emissions. Most heaters are programed at 140°F and can easily be decreased to 120°F. This can save you $14 annually and will cut 162 lbs. of co2 equivalent from your annual GHG emissions. You can also add foam insulation sleeves to the first 5 ft of your hot water heaters pipes. Consider turning your hot water heater off when you are on vacation. You can also install a timer switch that will turn the device off/on at night. A more costly option would be to install a solar water heating system. This can save a household 50-80% off their water-heating bill. As the prices for electricity or natural gas go up, the savings increases. Annual GHG emissions savings range from 2,700 to 4,320 lbs. of co2.

When it comes to water usage in the home, don’t forget to keep the simple things in mind, like turning the water off when you are doing the dishes, brushing your teeth or shaving. There is no reason to keep the water running, you are just sending clean water and money down the drain. For an increased savings, try to use cold water for these activities! And don’t forget to check your faucets, clothes washer and hot water heater for leaks!

Home Appliances

Home appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers and dish washers can greatly increase our energy bills and GHG emissions, especially if they are not maintained properly and working harder than they should be.

Your refrigerator and freezer should always be kept full, even if you must place water jugs in it to fill the space. Solid mass stays cool more easily than air. Make sure to set the temperature of your refrigerator between 38-42°F and your freezer between 0-10°F. This can be verified by placing thermometer in the unit. Make sure to clean the vacuum coils and gasket on the appliance (unplug first). When they are dirty the fridge will turn on more often and will run longer. Also, the area around the gasket where the door seals can sometimes become compromised. If you can slide a dollar bill between the seal it needs to be replaced. Remember to fully cool food before placing it in the fridge or freezer, this will reduce the amount of work the appliance has to perform. And if all possible, get rid of that extra fridge or freezer that you own. It is an energy hog and getting rid of it can save you over $100 per year!

Clothes washers and dryers can also drive up energy bills and GHG emissions if not operated properly and maintained. The dryer lint trap should be cleaned every time a load of clothes is dried. This results in a 5-10% reduction in energy use. You can also replace your dryer vent cover with a louver type cover. This results in a 20-50% increase in airflow, using less energy to force air though. When it comes to drying clothes, saving money and eliminating your GHG emissions there is always the old fashion line drying method. Allowing the sun’s natural warmth to dry your clothes and save energy. For clothes washing try to do most loads on a cold-water cycle and minimize the amount of detergent you use. The washer’s motor works harder when more suds are involved.

The energy expense of a dishwasher can be eliminated by simply hand washing your dishes. If this idea does not interest you, try making sure you always run full loads. When running your dish washer use the cold-water rinse setting. Finally, instead of letting the machine dry the dishes, turn the machine off and open the door, allowing the dishes to air dry.

Electronics and Lighting

There are several ways you can reduce your electric bill and GHG emissions when it comes to your electronics and lighting your home. Switch off electronics and appliances at the wall or power strip to cut 5-10% of your electric bill that is spent on standby power. Clocks and lights on TV’s and stereos constantly use power unless unplugged. Power strips make it much easier to prevent this, but appliances and electronics can also just simply be unplugged when not in use. The basic rule of thumb is: if you can see it on (standby light, clock) or feel it on (heat coming from wall chargers), then it’s considered a “phantom power user” because it is constantly drawing electricity, even when turned off. For lighting your home, consider replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents. Each bulb can save 100 lbs. of co2 equivalent GHG emissions a year and will cut your lightening costs. Use them in almost any fixture and experience the improved quality of light. You can purchase them online or at any hardware store. Always remember to turn off lights when you leave a room and put outdoor lights on timers or a sensor. Try to use natural lighting or task lighting when possible. The more lights you have on the higher your electric bill will be and the more GHG emissions produced.

Although many of these changes may seem minor and may not seem like they would save you a great deal of money. It is surprising as to how quickly it all adds up. These are simple steps you can take, and easy money saved. With earth day in mind, we can feel good about making these changes and we may just end up with a little extra money in our pockets treat ourselves.

Written by UF-IFAS Extension Coordinator Brynn Morey, Developed from Climate Smart Floridian’s Program material.
For more information about the program please contact: Alicia Betancourt at abb@ufl.edu


Posted: April 17, 2020

Category: Money Matters


September 14, 2021

Thank you for sharing your blog, amazing detailed information, it helps us a lot. Thank you!

Donna Castro
September 9, 2021

Great information; I don't think that many folks think about this and it's important. Thank you!

Dale Trimble
August 24, 2021

I don't know as we have the same problem. HELP!!

Michelle Leonard-Mularz

August 23, 2021

Hi Krista. I would recommend working with your county Extension Agent to determine the cause of decline in your plants. There are a variety of things that can cause witches broom, including herbicides. Ground Clear is not the only product that could cause these symptoms. I also sent you an email.

Krista Hager
August 22, 2021

I have been searching all over for an explanation of why the landscaping plants that surround the entire perimeter of my property is being effected by witches broom in one form or another. I have been to the county extension and they said I, or a neighbor was using too much ground clear. Not the case from what we can see. We are not using anything on the yard because of our dogs. I've sprayed weedkiller in the cracks of the road so the city wouldn't do it in the heat of the day. Anything applied to yard has been sparingly and sparse. Mostly because of the animals. 2 years ago plants started to show up with the witches broom. Random plants, all different varieties including trees, some right next to healthy. Now it's still happening, but only to us. No one in neighborhood is having this happen. Have you ever heard of this? Please offer a suggestion.

Good news
August 19, 2021

Really wonderful information can be found on web blog.

Donna Castro
August 12, 2021

Great article and very useful information.

Sajid Nadiawala
July 24, 2021

Amazing write-up.

June 27, 2021

Thanks for re-writing the arrival above. That was very helpful.

Carol Sigler
June 22, 2021

A fun and informative article. Thank you

Michelle Leonard-Mularz

June 21, 2021

Blue land crabs can be harvested November through the end of June. They can only be harvested by hand or with a landing or dip net. There are no chemicals registered for control of blue land crabs and it is illegal to use traps, bleach or any other chemical solutions. https://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/blue-land-crabs/. The only way to try to keep them from burrowing in your yard is to use some type of barrier (fence) to keep them out.

Lynda Grass
June 16, 2021

4 times I have had retina issues. Still not sure but I think it may have been caused from milkweed. one or both eyes were in pain and it looked as though I was looking through a frosted glass or heavy fog. Very scary. Dr. prescribed a steroid. It had improved results within 2 days. It was a mystery to the Dr. but as I think about it, it may have been the milkweed. Now I either wear gloves and always wash after touching the milkweed.

June 5, 2021

I live on a canal and my lawn is full of land crab holes. I am concerned that someone is going to be injured because some holes are quite large and not always easy to see. Hoe can I eradicate them humanely?

May 19, 2021

Thanks for sharing with us this digital hurricane kit. filehippo

Mrs. Rosemary Anderson
May 15, 2021

I purchased seeds for Everglades cherry tomatoes 2 years ago. They have reseeded. I just water them. They are prolific and dependable. Mrs. Anderson Bradenton, Flo

Michelle Leonard-Mularz

May 12, 2021

Witches broom is caused by a variety of different causes from mites to diseases, but all look very similar. The abnormal growth caused by these herbicides looks like witches broom, yet it is more widespread throughout the entire plant. You would need to determine what is causing the abnormal growth in your hedge plants. You can contact our Master Gardeners and/or bring in a sample to our office for identification.

May 12, 2021

How to determine if you have witches broom in hedges

Jake Jacoby
May 7, 2021

We have had them for YEARS, this is the first article I have ever seen written about them. We are on the West Coast. they are GREAT!

April 8, 2021

Hey Alicia. It was a very good article. Thanks for writing. from kimia piarom

March 24, 2021

Great explanation about holiday planning. Thank you for sharing an amazing article.

Ricardo Farah
March 17, 2021

It is so important to hire a professional tree service that can actually ensure that properties have hurricane preparedness. Consulting an arborist to figure out what to do in order to be prepared for hurricanes is a great step to make sure there are not any additional damages caused by trees or other debris that could have been trimmed or removed from the property.

Sue Alspach
March 12, 2021

Hi Michelle, I attended Dr. Chouvenc's presentation and have been kicking myself for not taking better notes. Now I have your excellent summary. Thank you!

Donna Torrey
March 8, 2021

Great job; well conveyed information that is very important, especially for those in the Tree Industry to recognize and treat. Thank you.

Patricia Nolan
December 27, 2020

Great article, Michelle! My soil is hydrophobic so I am composting directly into my gardens. When the hedge is clipped I have the men place the greens in my large compost bin.I only discard branches. I have been composting since I married in 1967!!! I'm in favor of recycling all and everything. Again, thank you! Pat Nolan

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Donna Torrey

October 28, 2020

Nice article! I just made some holy basil and roselle, and it's delicious! I found Roselle for sale at Bravo for $2.00 for a big bag of it in the produce section. It mixes nicely with other herbs. Best Wishes!

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Michelle Leonard-Mularz

October 5, 2020

They are present year-round in south Florida and the Keys. The eggs can be found in clusters on the underside of the leaves. This fact sheet provides more information. https://trec.ifas.ufl.edu/mannion/pdfs/OleanderCaterpillar.pdf

Mark R. Olson
September 22, 2020

when do you know if the eggs are being laid...what time of year? is there some indicator..?

Jeanne Leiva
September 21, 2020

Thank you for this very informative and helpful article. I agree that getting started early in the morning can help set the tone for a good, productive day. In the office, I was always most productive during the early morning hours while the atmosphere was still quiet. This also allowed me to complete any unfinished work from the previous day, as well as adjust my existing agenda for the day ahead if needed. Taking short breaks and ending the day while working from home has been challenging for me at times, even though I have worked from home before. This article is a great refresher for me. Thank you!

Cath Jennings
July 18, 2020

This article was most helpful- we are currently selling a beautiful mountain retreat and purchasing a home in Islamorada, Florida-I will miss my bird life here and am hoping to attract and enjoy the native species of the keys

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Michelle Leonard-Mularz

July 8, 2020

Hi Susie, milkweed is not a host for oleander caterpillars. However, your mandevilla is a host, along with desert rose and rubber vine.

June 7, 2020

I found an oleander caterpillar on my milkweed. I have no oleanders. What else can they feed on?I have a mandevilla and pentas nearby...

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Michelle Leonard-Mularz

April 21, 2020

This is a great publication about seed sources for Florida homegrown vegetables https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep486. Keep in mind, seeds have been in high demand and some companies are no longer taking new orders, keep trying. Additionally, Key West Botanical Garden grows them and when they are open to the public again, should have plants available.

Shelly Krueger
April 21, 2020

Where can we buy Everglades tomato plants?

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Alicia Betancourt

April 19, 2020

I agree but have a love/hate relationship with my VPN it makes it very slow to get anything done! Sure I can get to my files but is slows me to 25% efficiency! I have been using our approved one drive to keep my working files in and Office 365. Let me know what works for you and maybe I can include it in the article. Thanks

April 19, 2020

What about using VPN? My manager insisted on me getting Atlas VPN once I started working from home and apparently there have been news articles that there will be more hackers invading private home networks to steal all kinds of company data

April 17, 2020

Great info! Thank you!!

April 15, 2020

Thanks Sam!

Samantha Kennedy
April 15, 2020

Thank you ladies for a great article. These tips are so helpful. Working from home is a challenge and can make it hard to stay focused. I don't know about the dress nicely suggestion (I mean, actually changing out of my peejays should be enough), but scheduling time to check email instead of keeping it open is something I started at the office and carried over at home. It definitely helps limit some of the distractions the little envelope provides when it pops up.

Stump grinding Hamilton
March 28, 2020

What an interesting post, I just read it from start to end your blog post, An informative blog. These plants grow from creeping, underground rhizomes and can also reproduce by seed. Thanks for sharing such a great post ever.

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Michelle Leonard-Mularz

February 6, 2020

Hi David, thank you for your comment. The link has been updated.

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Michelle Leonard-Mularz

February 6, 2020

If you live in Monroe County, you can contact our office for plant identification. Our contact information is listed on the homepage of our website, or go to the environmental horticulture page to reach the agent directly. For quickest results, you can email pictures of the plants you need identified. If you live outside of Monroe County, you can contact your local Extension office for help with plant identification.

February 4, 2020

I need to have invasive plants identified

David Hubbert
January 2, 2020

The link to the Whitefly article on this page is no longer valid. Since we are now seeing activity at the Golf Club in Key West we would appreciate an update to that link as people are again asking for a way to control them. Please contact me and I will put it on our website.

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Michelle Leonard-Mularz

August 23, 2019

Hi Judy, I wish you had contacted the Extension Service. Those are not Oleander Caterpillars you killed, they are Gulf Fritillary butterfly caterpillars. Passion vines are actually a larval food source for three different species of butterflies, including our State butterfly, the Zebra Longwing. This fact sheet has more information. http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/gulf_fritillary.htm

August 23, 2019

I’m growing Passion Flowers. They’re so beautiful and attract and . I even have beautiful Monarch Butterflies now! Passion flower is a climbing vine and spreads everywhere. But that’s ok with me. Last year, my foliage on the vines started disappearing! I noticed this ugly worm, or orange caterpillar with black spikes all over. He was devouring the leaves so fast I couldn’t believe it! An entire vine was eaten overnight I didn’t know what they were, and I didn’t kill them because I thought they might be Monarch larvae. It’s funny...they didn’t eat any didn’t eat any other plants...just the Passion Flower. It looked awful with only vines with no leaves. So I went out there yesterday with my scissors and searched for the little suckers. I found about 50 or more and I just cut off their heads with scissors. What a hassle! And I felt so guilty for doing that...I really did. From now on, I’ll make up the mixture of stuff you guys are using to get rid of these little destroyers. Thanks!

Rhonda Fortner
July 13, 2019

Do they bite and are they anything to worry anout if they do ?

Door Geeks
July 2, 2019

I guess I can agree with letting them be, but maybe it depends on the type of scorpion. This article about Arizona scorpions advocates getting rid of them.

Carlee Weston
December 13, 2018

My Fiddlewood is suffering sever damage from these pests. At first I thought it was the cold snap we were experiencing. I live in eastern Martin County.

November 14, 2018

This was a best understandable address about the hazards of trees but you make sure gutters are cleaned out so water can flow freely and not contribute to roof damage or leaks.Landscape Hurricane Preparedness should be included in your hurricane plan. Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare your landscape. It can be dangerous and debris may not get picked up in time and become another hazard. Remember, just because a tree is damaged in a storm, doesn’t mean removal is the only option. Contact a consulting arborist to do a risk assessment and determine if your tree can be saved. For more information on assessing damage and restoring trees must concern this kind of matter with the tree care company services . Thanks.

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Michelle Leonard-Mularz

November 13, 2018

Hi Bruce, Thank you for your suggestion. There have been reports of that product killing the tree cambium, resulting in the death of the tree, when used for Gypsy Moth. Which is why it wasn't mentioned in the article.

Bruce Heysse
November 11, 2018

You may wish to consider Tanglefoot Tree Insect Barrier from Amazon or wherever found. Inexpensive, easy to apply, environmentally safe and long lasting.

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Michelle Leonard-Mularz

September 12, 2018

Hi Robert, It does not sound like the same caterpillar. You can contact the Extension Service in your County for accurate identification. A photograph or physical sample might be required. Palm Beach County Extension Service (561) 233-1700.

Robert O'Brien
September 12, 2018

I live in SE Florida, Delray Beach. My Royal P has some small caterpillars hanging down from the canopy on long threads every morning. Not a lot, but a few. They are 1/4" by 1/16" and light yellow/green in color. Do you know what they are? I will start watching to see if I have any of those described here climbing the trunk in the early evening.

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Michelle Leonard-Mularz

August 22, 2018

Hi Pat, Thank you for your comment. We are big proponents of integrated pest management (IPM), and one of the principles of IPM is starting with more environmentally friendly options when the decision is made to control a pest. However, in this scenario, this is the best and quickest way to control this pest. Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms and with its abrasive sharp edges, causes insects to dry out and die by absorbing the oils and fats from the cuticle of the insect's exoskeleton. Unfortunately, it will also absorb water and moisture from the air, rendering it ineffective from a pest management perspective in the landscape with our high humidity. Additionally, Bacillus thurengiensis (Bt) is a stomach toxin that would need to be ingested by the caterpillar to be effective. Another option you could try is Spinosad, which is a natural substance made by a soil bacterium, you may have to reapply a several times for complete control. Also, there has been some negative consequences with the use of the horticultural glue in trying to control gypsy moth in a similar way. The sticky substance ended up killing the tree cambium, resulting in tree death. Please keep me posted on the method of control you use and its effectiveness.

August 21, 2018

After seeing an article in the paper about the Royal Poinciana caterpillar infestation, I inspected my tree and had an army of them crawling up them about 8:00 PM. I purchased SEVIN brand dust and copiously applied it to the trunk in the late afternoon. No more caterpillars.

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Michelle Leonard-Mularz

August 21, 2018

Knocking the caterpillars off into a soap and water solution is very effective. You can also use a product with the active ingredient Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) which is a microbial insecticide and only harmful to caterpillars.

August 16, 2018

A lot of links are quoting the same information. Here is a link to a more helpful solution https://brisbanetrees.com.au/poincianas-and-caterpillars/

August 11, 2018

I tried straight vinegar and hadnt worked right away so I remembered I had some Trader Joe's Body Wash with Tree Tea Oil and Peppermint in it so I took that outside to the plant and within less than a minute after I poured some on the caterpillars, they fell off. Was actually shocked, but glad.

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Michelle Leonard-Mularz

July 24, 2018

Good morning, If you are located in Miami-Dade, you can contact their Extension Service for help with any landscape issues. Their phone number is (305) 248-3311. Otherwise, if you are in Monroe County you could send me an email with pictures to mleonard@ufl.edu. Thank you for contacting us.

July 4, 2018

Good Morning Hoping you can assist. I planted a number of gumbo limbo trees in Nov ‘17 in Miami. They were doing really until the leaves on two of them recently started to curl up into themselves in hard, tightly wound shapes. Obviously something attacking them. Wish I could post a picture.

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Michelle Leonard-Mularz

June 4, 2018

Hi Mr. Oswald, thank you for your comment. The post has been corrected.

John Oswald
May 31, 2018

Hi kgabel, You may wish to consider updating your statements above. Some, but not all, green lacewings (Chrysopidae) are "trash carriers", but no brown lacewings (Hemerobiidae) have ever been shown definitively to carry trash. Earlier reports in the literature to this effect all appear to be misidentifications of green lacewing larvae. Your left photo above is a chrysopid; the right photo is a hemerobiid. Cheers, John Oswald Prof. Entomology, Texas A&M University P.S. I'm a Neuroptera systematist...

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Michelle Leonard-Mularz

May 21, 2018

You can go to the University of Florida's EDIS (electronic data information source) website and there are many publications about palm trees. You can also contact our office with any specific questions you may have. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_palms Thank you for your comment.

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Michelle Leonard-Mularz

May 21, 2018

Hi Roberto, Azaleas don't really grow down here. They are hardy to about zone 9b, we are zone 11. As for Royal Poinciana, I don't have personal experience, but I don't think its too much of an issue considering the size of the tree. Thank you for your comment.

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Michelle Leonard-Mularz

May 21, 2018

Hi Paul, Thank you for the question. I am the new horticulture agent since Kim Gabel retired. Imidacloprid, which is a neonicotinoid, is not effective against lepidopterans (caterpillars). You could try Spinosad or a microbial insecticide with the active ingredient Bacillus thuringiensis, the strain specific to caterpillars. These will need to be sprayed early, at the first sight of an infestation. Bt is only effective against caterpillars and will not harm beneficial insects. Always follow label directions when using any pesticides. Please contact our office if you have any additional questions.

Paul Douglass
May 5, 2018

Will injecting Mahogany Trees with Imidacloprid prevent the the annual infestation of webworms? If it is applied as an injection, is it harmful to bees and/or are there other environmental issues? I know webworm presence on the Mahogany trees will pass with little harm to the trees, but they do create a mess and my neighbor gets quite upset.

4 Corner Cabling
February 12, 2018

I love reading an article that can make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!

February 4, 2018

University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension outreach is a partnership between state, federal, and county governments to provide scientific knowledge and expertise to the public.

Roberto Madeira
January 22, 2018

I have a business in the Florida Keys and would love to plant a poinciana tree and azaleas in my backyard. Does iguanas like those trees? If yes! what do you suggest for me to do?

December 5, 2017

This post is priceless. Where cɑn I find out morе?

Kris Reynolds
October 16, 2017

I heard in the Cayman Islands according to the Sun Sentinel that they captured over 166,000 green iguanas in 2014 and the population grew to over 400,000 in 2 years. It was crazy explosive growth. We have to do a better job managing the green iguana population. - Kris Reynolds - Nuisance Wildlife Rangers

best lawn mower on sale
September 23, 2017

Good blog, I’m going to spend more time learning about this subject

Paintless Dent Repair (PDR)
May 11, 2017

Excellent article. I will be experiencing many of these issues as well..

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August 4, 2014

The other months of the year may work, but again the recommended months are June-August. Variable weather conditions due to temperature and rain fall may make the soil hot enough or not. Regarding mint -

Lizzy Poole
July 31, 2014

Re soil solarization - great idea. If we stay during summer I'll use it. In fact, I don't know why it wouldn't work Oct.-NOv., and March - May. Direct sun can get pretty hot then. If we can grow mint in Florida Keys, I'm doing so because here in Maine my mint bed all went to flowers and many bees appeared out of nowhere to work the site.

Earl Finnegan
October 2, 2013

I'm having to deal with an infestation of birch leafminer. It's really awful seeing my trees cut up like that.

August 31, 2013

I think this caterpillar fell on my toe and although it didn't hurt days later I have this rash my toe

dawn soleri
August 17, 2013

The bugs turn into ugly moth-like creatures. Just spray thyme or tea tree essential oil diluted in some water. I srayed this morning, and as the sun comes out, the caterpillars are dropping off the plant and dying.

May 1, 2013

Is the 2013 hurricane season supposed to be worse than normal? I've heard that climate experts are predicting more hurricanes in the Gulf this year, but I don't know how credible the sources are. If it's true, we better begin preparations asap!

February 7, 2013

Interesting how the pH level can vary so much, depending on location. I doubt that most people realize how many factors affect their gardening and landscaping!

February 3, 2013

Are more people (or landscapers) using organic fertilizers these days, or still chemical based? Specifically in the FL Keys?

islamorada fishing charters
August 9, 2012

As the name suggests, this is a bug with transparent wings. The rest of the body is dark, giving the bug a contrasting black and white appearance.

fishing florida keys
July 27, 2012

thanks a lot for the photos.

June 21, 2012

I attend college in South Florida. My roomie was surprised to find Uncle Sam and his brothers on her Yellow Mandevillas. So we transported them to our school property's plant. We also kept Uncle Sammy. I am appalled that y'all want to kill Uncle Sam and his brothers by freezing them to death. I think we should just transport them to someone else's plants. That way they can still live a hearty life. Shalom.

May 29, 2012

I have two caterpillars - yellow with silver dots feeding on two of my Desert Rose plants. I've raised butterflies, but never saw these caterpillars before. I am collecting Desert Rose plants - had no idea they would be eaten. Can I move these to another plant. It's midnight, just went out and picked 3 off my roses with leaves. What now?

Muhammad Zahid Iqbal
May 10, 2012

As the name suggests, this is a bug with transparent wings. The rest of the body is dark, giving the bug a contrasting black and white appearance. what is career transition

May 2, 2012

Who is the person who said that caterpillars are never "beneficial"? They ALL turn into moths or butterflies which are beneficial -- so lets kill all the caterpillars and therefore there will be no more moths and butterflies on the earth! Geezz...

December 18, 2011

About 50 of those ate my desert rose over night and started eating a corn palm too. i tried killing them with a natural pesticide I had then got nervous because they were so many so I got out he big guns and downed them. They literally ate the leaves and flowers off the whole plant over night. scared me so bad i thought they would eat the whole yard by morning

December 1, 2011

Caterpillars are never considered "beneficial", as all caterpillars feed on leaves and cause foliar damage. They are considered pests if the damage is intensive and causes harm to the plant or if the damage is unsightly. I personally don't care as long as my plants don't die.

November 27, 2011

I found the caterpillars on my Desert Rose plant and sprayed them with a mixture of minced garlic and red pepper mixed with water. They dropped right off. I was concerned that I had killed a beneficial caterpillar.

August 20, 2011

thanks a lot for the photos. they are really beautiful. there are путевки в Черногорию cool photos too. Best wishes. keep it on)

September 10, 2010

Saw a green or blue crab, bigger than two adult hands wide, in Miramar, Fl. Do they hangout in canals and lakes too. Too dark for pictures. I thought it was a beach crab, had never heard of land crabs.

June 12, 2010

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June 9, 2010

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remove sooty mold
December 22, 2009

The product in the link will easily control the insects and release the sooty mold that they cause. It is also natural which is a must to keep florida beautiful. It was also developed in florida.

October 20, 2009

In Key West can you join forces with the mosquito control and add something to their spray which will help all of Key West save our hibiscus and other infected plants?

October 8, 2009

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September 10, 2009

Regarding the Hibiscus Mealybug...I just recently moved back to SW Fl from out of state and purchased an older home with mature landscaping. There are several hibiscus and one was under severe attack from mealy bugs. I'm an organic gardener, so I wasnt interested in pesticides. I checked out the horticultural oils, but decided to try EMs (effective microorganisms). I didnt know if it would work, but I'm happy to report that one month later, I have lots of new growth and beautiful blooms. The mealybugs and the resulting damage (sooty, stumped branches,etc) are gone. I was pleasantly surprised, and continue to be amazed with EMs. I have no affiliation with the non profit company that makes EMs--EM America, but stumbled upon the product a couple years ago. It hasnt let me down yet. give it a try.

March 15, 2009

This blog has loads of useless info, thanks! Hope you will keep it up!

Brevard Missy
January 7, 2009

Nice web site!

December 9, 2008

I've heard the BEST way to get rid of them is to get a dog.

August 27, 2008

thank you, i think this is exactly what's on my tree - i was cleaning it off the other day wondering if i should try a fungicide or something. i'll look into the bugs!

August 18, 2008

There used to be a large land crab population at the corner of VonPhister and Whalton. Unfortunately, the city has installed injection wells at the same corner and we no longer have crabs there. Is the city/public works subject to the rules listed in this blog?

Stephen Tvedten
July 19, 2008

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