Kenny Stokes, a courier for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, battles summer heat the old fashioned way. Stokes, whose van has no air conditioning, cooled off after his mid-morning deliveries. With temperatures hovering around the century mark and a heat index of 108, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
Triple digit heat indexes make it more than unpleasant to work outside, it can be life threatening. Understanding how to prevent and recognize heat injury is critical for people who work outdoors in Florida.
For horticulture and agriculture professionals who also apply pesticides, recognizing heat injury can be further complicated by the similarities of symptoms to pesticide exposure.
To learn more about preventing workplace heat related illness, read the article below by UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County Commercial Horticulture Agent Susan Haddock.
UF/IFAS Extension working with horticulture professionals scouting turf issues. Photo Credit: Blake Thaxton
Using an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to landscape management has been an integral part of the green industry for many years. The strategies help to make pest control more efficient by incorporating multiple methods and being flexible enough to make changes where needed.
One of the most critical steps in your IPM plan is monitoring and correct pest identification. If the pest is not identified correctly, then any steps taken to control that pest will be ineffective and may also mask the original problem making it harder to get a correct diagnosis.
Correct identification does not stop at naming the pest in question. More research needs to be done to choose the appropriate management methods. Some key questions to answer are:
• What are the primary hosts in this landscape?
• How can we manage the landscape to make the pest less successful?
• What is the life cycle of the pest?
• How/where does it reproduce?
• At which stage of the life cycle are we likely to get the best control?
• Are there different strategies based on life cycle stage?
Answering these questions will help you choose appropriate control methods whether cultural, mechanical, biological, or chemical. Remember to always keep good records and modify your plan as needed.
For more information visit https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_pest_management