Outdoors

Little beetles can cause big problems

by Dr. William Lester, UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County

Adult sixspined ips, Ips calligraphus (Germar). Photograph by David T. Almquist, University of Florida.

If you drive around Hernando County you will notice quite a few dead pine trees. This is because we have had an outbreak of Ips pine engraver beetles this spring and summer. This beetle pest occurrence isn’t nearly as bad as the southern pine bark beetle, which can cause major losses of pine trees across the entire Southeast US; but if you are the one suffering the loss and expense of removing a dead pine tree, this is little comfort. The main areas in our county that have been affected are Spring Hill, WeekiWachee, areas west of US 19 and along Cortez Blvd.

SWFWMD declares phase I water shortage

Lilly Browning is the Florida Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator

The Southwest Florida Water Management District has declared a Phase One Water Shortage. For the homeowner, this is more or less a warning phase, to prepare you for tighter restrictions if the dry weather continues. But one look around at the brown, crunchy lawns can tell us that we need to start thinking seriously about water conservation.

April fishin' report

Captain Duane Baker

April is, in my opinion, the best month to fish inshore in the flats and back country. Spring tides are flushing bait from the banks and making navigation easier. The strong winds of March are calming down and the temperature is comfortable.

The main target species are redfish, trout, and snook although many others may be caught like flounder, sheepshead, mangrove snapper, and Spanish macs.

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