Monday, December 30, 2013

Fort Christmas

Fort Christmas was built in the community of Christmas Florida. This fort was built during the Second Seminole War, Construct started on Christmas Day December 25, 1837.

Today there sits a full scaled replica of Fort Christmas at 1300 Fort Christmas Rd. The site is less than one mile for the original location of the Fort. Today at Fort Christmas Park besides the full scale replica of the fort there is also a growing number of restored Florida Cracker Houses and Farm Buildings furnished with original and reproduced furniture that depicts the rural life of Florida from the 1870’s through the 1930’s.

The historical park is just a few miles north of the main highway HWY 50 separating Central Florida’s Orland and Titusville on the Florida’s Space Coast . The historical park also includes several picnic pavilions (including a large one that is covered and screened), restroom facilities, a unique themed children's playground, a baseball diamond, tennis, volleyball and basketball courts.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Fort Jefferson, Florida

Fort Jefferson, Florida

Fort Jefferson is within the Dry Tortugas National Park and is about 70 miles west of Key West. Fort Jefferson is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 1992 the fort was established as a National Park.

Fort Jefferson was built to protect on of the most deep-water anchorages in North America. Nearly 30 years in the making the Fort was never finished or fully manned. During the Civil Was the Union warships used the harbor in their effort to blockage the Southern shipping routes.

For many years the fort was used by the Union Army to house prisoners. The most famous prisoner to see the inside of the fort was Dr. Samuel Mudd, the physician who helped John Wiles Booth.

Today the 100 square mile park is mostly open water with seven small islands which is only accessible by boat or seaplane. With vast amounts of marine life and coral reefs this is an excellent place to come and explore. The shallow waters also make this an excellent place to come and snorkel and enjoy the abundance of colorful tropical fish and living coral that sits just off shore in the beautiful blue waters.

Camping in the Dry Tortugas National Park is definitely an experience of a lifetime! Imagine sleeping under the stars, on an island 70 miles from civilization, with the warm tropical breezes blowing through palm trees and the rhythmic sound of the ocean waves playing in the background. Camping is limited so make sure you make reservations ahead of time.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Disney Wilderness Preserve

Disney Wilderness Preserve

The Disney Wilderness Preserve in Poinciana is a conservation preserve that encompasses around 12,000 acres in an area that sits in a region of developed land. This area was purchased to replace the habitats that
were lost by construction of Walt Disney World.

The 12,000 acres was a former ranch in Osceola County and now it is a untouched beautiful preserve that is owned and operated by The Nature Conservancy. The preserve is now a national model for sustainable development.

Home to more than 1,000 different types of plants and animal the Disney Preserve plays a big part in the ecosystem of the Everglades. The wetlands also play a major role in replenishing the ground water and reclaimed water that the
local community uses for irrigation.

This preserve is an awesome place to bring the family and spend the day and enjoy the beauty that Florida offers it people.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Drywood Termites in Florida

Drywood Termite

Many residents owning property in Florida especially those that live in counties along the coast and those that live in southern communities will have the likelihood of experiencing a dry wood termite infestation at one point in their home or business,  this according to the University of Florida. Dry wood termites are different than subterranean termites in that they do not need  moister to live and they do not live in the ground.

Dry wood termites are secretive insects and are difficult to detect. They live deep inside wood and, except during periods when they come out and swarm or when repair work is being done on infested homes, they are seldom seen. Too find these wood destroying insects you should look for winged adults or "swarmer’s", shed wings, ejected fecal pellets, and galleries inside wood. These are some typical signs of a dry wood termite infestation. Swarming ants are sometimes confused with termites, but their differences are easy to recognize.

Visual inspections by a termite licensed inspector are the best way to locate an infestation. Inspectors look for feeding damage, wings from swarming termites, kick out holes which are about the size of a BB and fecal matter.  During an inspection the inspector will look for piles of fecal pellets near infested wood. The pellets are generally the color of the wood on which the termites feed. These pellets are about 1⁄32 inch long and modest magnification will show long dimples or flutes down each surface. The pellets appear to be six sided, blunt at one end and pointed at the other.  Another way to identify termite galleries if you do not find fecal pellets or kick out holes is too search for surface blistering in paint or warping wood is a good sign of an advanced infestation. Blistering occurs many times because of the termites are tunneling right under the outer surface of the wood, which gives a blistered appearance.

There are many types of treatments for dry wood termites. Make sure that you have a
thorough inspection done by a qualified inspector first. Then ask about the type of treatment they would recommend. Some companies will jump right to having a fumigation job done to the house, but there are many times that a spot treatment is all you will need. The difference in cost between a spot treatment and a fumigation job can be thousands of dollars. So just like getting a second and third opinion on surgery, do the same here and get two or three opinions on termite treatments.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Florida Eastern Subterranean Termite

Florida Insects

The one well known fact, if you live in Florida you will have insects and termites. I work as a service manager for a very large Pest Control Co. in Florida. I have been in the industry for over 20+ years, I am also known as the The Bugman.

There are 4 well known termites that attack structures in Florida, the EasternSubterranean Termite, the Formosan Termite, Florida Dampwood Termite and the Powderpost Drywood Termite. Today we are going to look at the Eastern Subterranean Termite.

The Eastern Subterranean Termite is highly destructive to many common building materials. The can enter a home through the smallest of cracks in the floor, foundation, or cement walls. They can come through a crack as small as a 1/16th of an inch. Once inside the structure they can rapidly eat the internal sections of the structure in no time. Termites feed on cellulose material not just wood. Wood is made up of cellulose material but also is the backing paper of your drywall, also the pictures hanging on your wall, and so on. Eastern Subterranean Termite live in the soil in the ground and forage 24 hours a
day looking for food for the colony.

A single Eastern Subterranean Termite social colony can contain from 100,000 to 1,000,000 termites and will forage up to 150 in search of food. When the termite leaves the ground they build shelter tubes to travel in. The tubes are like highways for termites, these tubes protect the termite from predators, sun-burn and from dehydration. Most of the caste of the colony will stay in the ground or shelter tube except the winged reproducer’s.

The winged reproducer’s take flight in Florida from early December and last until April depending on climate conditions. After the winged termites (alates) will drop to the ground and shed their wings. The female will begin to search for a nesting site and the males with follow closely behind the female to set up the new colony. It may take from 5 to 10 years for the two to form a mature colony.

There are different forms of control for in early Subterranean Termites. When choosing termite control or termite prevention for your structure please ask a lot of questions about what the type of treatment is to be done for your structure. Also ask about the type of warranty they are offering with the treatment. There are a lot of companies all around Florida so make sure you do your home work before hiring any company to protect your dwelling.