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Fish Kills in Florida’s Marine Waters: How Do They Occur

Fish kills often occur in Florida because of our warm, and often hot, weather, and because of changes in the biological and chemical environment of the water and fish. Fish kills occur for a variety of reasons, and are often connected to either a decline in dissolved oxygen in the water, the presence of algae or a bloom of algae, or some pathogen that may be affecting the fish. In March 2016, a large fish kill was reported in the Indian River Lagoon. This was the first large fish kill to occur since 2010, when a prolonged cold snap caused a fish kill of many tropical and subtropical species of fish. Learn More.

A Practical Poultry Guide…Raising Backyard Chickens

Practical Poultry Guide

Interest in raising small backyard chicken flocks has grown across the nation in recent years. Many urban areas now have ordinances allowing a limited number of chickens, usually female only, to be kept on properties zoned as residential. Brevard County is no exception to this trend, although the ordinances do vary in the number of chickens allowed and housing requirements. Read More.

Zika Virus

Although the Zika virus is circulating in Central and South America and the Caribbean, currently, there is no evidence that local populations of Florida mosquitoes are infected. However, we need to be prepared and vigilant in case local transmission occurs, said Jorge Rey, professor and interim director of the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory (FMEL), in Vero Beach Florida.

Roxanne Connelly, an Extension medical entomology specialist with FMEL, part of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, says:

  • People need to do all they can to manage the mosquitoes most likely to be involved in Zika virus transmission in Florida if the virus shows up in local mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are among those known as “container mosquitoes” specifically, the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, and the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus.
  • Initial measures include getting rid of containers in your yard or outside your business, because they collect water and become perfect habitats for immature stages of these mosquito species. These include tires, wheel barrows, potted plants that sit on saucers, cans, bottles and more. You should inspect your yard weekly to make sure you don’t have any containers. Bromeliad plants and bird baths also can house container mosquitoes, Connelly said. For these types of mosquito habitats, they can be flushed with clean water weekly, or can be treated with mosquito-specific Bti granules (Mosquito Dunks or Mosquito Bits).
  • Inspect windows and doors for hole and tears and repair them to exclude mosquitoes.
  • Mosquito repellents should be used when people plan to be outdoors at the time mosquitoes are biting. The longest lasting repellents contain DEET and picaridin. Whatever type of repellant you use, read the label to make sure you’re putting on a product registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information about how to reduce mosquito populations in your community, visit the UF/IFAS Extension Mosquito Information Website or contact Joe Walter at 321-633-1702 x234.

What is UF/IFAS?

No Horsing Around!

Join us for the 2016 Open Pleasure Horse Show on April 24 sponsored by Brevard County 4-H!

Learn About Recycling in Brevard County

"Right Partner, Right Place, Right Time: Exploring New Avenues to Create Partnerships"

This webinar will provide innovative ways to think about partnering with school systems. Oftentimes it can be difficult to access and find the best avenues in working with schools in order to reach the students. This webinar will showcase a successful new partnership between 21st Century Community Learning Center Program Grants, Brevard County Afterschool Programming, and UF/IFAS Extension Brevard County.

Presenters: Elizabeth Shephard, Family and Consumer Science Agent III, University of Florida Brevard County Extension Service; Vanessa Spero-Swingle, 4-H Youth Development Agent, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Brevard County Extension; Todd Forschino, Program Development Coordinator, Brevard Public Schools

Learning Objective: New ways to partner with schools in promoting healthy eating initiatives

Watch Now

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My Brevard Yard Workshops

My Brevard YardSign up for the My Brevard Yard Workshop and learn how you can have a healthy lawn and protect our waterways!

One or three-hour workshops are available. Longer workshops are great for municipalities, homeowner associations, and other large groups. Call 321.633.1702 x 222 or Email to schedule a group workshop.

Soil Testing Information

Call a Master Gardener

You can do your part to protect water quality by following a few simple steps toward making your yard Florida Friendly. For help with your lawn and landscape, call or email a Master Gardener at 321.633.1702.

Soil and Water Conservation District

The Brevard Soil and Water Conservation District assists farmers and ranchers with applying Best Management Practices to their operations.

Contact Dave Millard at 633-1702 x241 or email Dave Millard for assistance.

Brevard County Farmers Market

The Brevard County Farmers Market is open every Thursday from 3-6pm and is located at the Equestrian Center in Wickham Park. More info...

Brevard Botanical Garden

We are developing a teaching and demonstration garden right here at the UF/IFAS Extension office. Learn how you can help.