Home & Garden

Florida Department of Agriculture Warns Residents About Termite Season

Florida Department of Agriculture Warns Residents About Termite Season

Warmer temperatures are not only a hint of Spring, but also a sign of termite swarming season. Swarming occurs when large numbers of termites leave their colonies to search for new nesting sites. In an effort to help consumers avoid termites, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services urges residents to take five simple steps to protect their home. 

1.      Remove wood piles and other cellulose sources from under and next to the home.

2.      Direct water sources, such as air conditioner drip lines and roof downspouts, away from the structure’s foundation.

Florida's Industry Leaders Unite to Attack Bed Bug Epidemic

With all of the press recently about hotel guests winning law suits it is clear that bed bugs are not an isolated problem that occurs in only the most heavily traveled major cities.

Bed bug infestations are wreaking havoc right here in Florida, with infestations being reported across the state daily. “Bed bugs are not a result of poor sanitation; they can affect anyone,” said John Cooksey, Entomologist and COO of McCall Service, Inc. These pests are primarily carried by travelers and are being reported in the transportation, retail and hospitality industries—with infestation being most prominent in hospitality.

Termite Swarms Spotted in Florida

According to McCall Service, termite swarms have been spotted in Jacksonville and people need to take warning. The annual cost of termite damage is greater than that of fires, hurricanes and tornadoes combined. Termites typically go unseen and sneak into your home. They can go undetected for months and if left untreated, they can cause serious damage to your Florida home.

If you think your home may be infested by termites, look for these signs: swarming termites or insects, dead termites, small holes in wood, damage to drywall, structural weakness and mud tubes. These wood destroying insects are very destructive to Florida homes as they damage the overall structure.


Winn-Dixie Introduces Smartphone 'App'

Winn-Dixie Introduces Smartphone 'App'

Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. announced it launched a smartphone application that will help customers find their closest Winn-Dixie, allow them to view the weekly circular and sales for that specific store, and create and manage shopping lists that both sync with computers and can be shared with other users. The easy-to-use app for Apple’s iPhone and Android smart phones is available as a free download through Apple Inc.’s iTunes, the Android Market or through links on Winn-Dixie’s website at http://www.winndixie.com/Mobile/apps.

Holiday Meal Makeovers

Holiday Meal Makeovers

With the holidays quickly approaching, at-home chefs everywhere are beginning to plan their menus. This year, The Fresh Market encourages foodies to think outside the recipe box by departing from tradition in favor of new flavors! The specialty grocer offers up some unique recipes for “Meal Makeovers” for your holiday feasts – unexpected flavors incorporated into traditional favorites.

New flavors from across the globe will liven up menus and allow for even more creativity in the kitchen. Taste buds are sure to enjoy Curried Sweet Potato Casserole, Truffled Mashed Potatoes and Lemon Dill Green Beans with Pine Nuts and Pecorino, a delicious alternative to traditional green bean casserole. While turkey is tried and true, shake up the menu by preparing an elegant Pork Crown Roast served with Couscous instead of traditional stuffing. Another holiday favorite is Whole Beef Tenderloin as it serves well with a wide range of interesting side dishes.

Thanksgiving is only 24 days away!!! Are you ready to host family and friends around your table?

Here are some tips:

Prepare for the Feast

Plan ahead. The key to minimizing holiday-induced anxiety is to plan in advance. Take inventory now to make sure you have the essentials you will need to serve your holiday meal - both basics and serving pieces.

Save time and space. Use serving pieces with warming trays to free up essential cooking space on your stove. To create additional space in your oven, use a three-tier oven rack on one side that leaves the other side open for more bulky food allowing you to cook more than one dish at a time.

Pumpkin Pulp Is No Treat for Your Plumbing

The trick to keeping pumpkin pulp and seeds from causing plumbing problems is as easy as pie.

“Instead of carving your jack-o’-lantern in or by the kitchen sink, try a newspaper,” said Randy Brague of Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Greater Jacksonville shop. “You need to be cautious when removing and disposing of the pumpkin’s sticky substance.”

When pumpkin pulp goes down the kitchen sink drain, the orange substance hardens and sticks to the pipes. Pumpkin carvers can end up with clogged drains and broken garbage disposals if they aren’t careful – especially when it’s cleanup time.

Mr. Rooter Plumbing recommends wrapping all the cut pieces and seeds in the newspaper and throwing them away. For those who recycle, put the remnants in a compost pile. Pulp and seeds are great for cooking as well.