Meet The Beetles

Remember the good old days of citrus canker, when our government hired arboreal assassins to chop down private citizens’ citrus trees to protect the agriculture industry’s profits?  I lost three trees in this scam, one of which miraculously grew back, and citrus trees disappeared by the thousands across south Florida.  All in vain.  The eradication program was a complete failure anyway.

So you will pardon my paranoia when I encounter this:

As the season comes to a close, those in the Florida avocado industry are casting a wary eye to Martin County, where the redbay ambrosia beetle continues its march southward.  The beetle, believed to be a native of Asia, carries a fungus that has proved lethal to… avocado [trees], from the Carolinas through Georgia, and now Florida. There is no method to cure the disease.

Growers, scientists, and…governments are in a race against the beetle as it makes its way south to the $30 million avocado industry.  It took a few years to spread through Georgia and was first found in Florida’s northern counties in 2005.   It has spread exponentially quicker the past two years to Central Florida.  — Miami Hurled

I don’t care much for what I see coming straight down Florida’s Turnpike, and no, it’s not a flock of beetles.  To companies like Asplundh, it’s Opportunity on a Rolling Cash Register.  To taxpayers, it’s a giant Wet-Vac sucking dollars from your pockets to underwrite another corporate gift.  To the avocado industry, it’s a huge profit-puffer as the excuse to hike prices gets written in headlines.

And to homeowners with beloved fruit trees, it’s another BOHICA moment — that’s Bend Over Here It Comes Again for the uninitiated — followed by a giant hole in a newly denuded back yard.

Makes me long for the days of Mad Cow Disease.

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10 Responses to Meet The Beetles

  1. Breaded Veal Cutlet says:

    Yes you’re displaying paranoia but no you’re not off base. One barricade against this happening again is that the first round failed. But I agree — if they thought they could get away with it again, they would do it.

  2. Travis T says:

    Where did you get that photo of my ex-wife?

  3. Will says:

    I have 3 huge mature avocado trees and 2 younger ones – considering my luck with this house, the beetle will no doubt arrive in Miami-Dade county first at my address!

    • Hose B says:

      You might be right. Where there’s a Will, there’s a way.


      The citrus canker eradication program was such a catastrophe I doubt they’ll ever try anything like that again. That’s the good news. The bad news is, it doesn’t look as though there’s anything at all that’s working against the invasion. Count on paying twice as much for your guacamole this time next year, which may be what all this is about anyway.

  4. For the record, at this time there are no plans for a program similar to the one we deployed for citrus canker eradication.

    Much as the state would enjoy creating misery to the largely unwelcome immigrant population of south Florida, it would be too politically risky in an election year. As successful as canker eradication was, transferring as it did millions of dollars of tax revenue into the pockets of large Republican donors, we believe the average voter — who in the region under review is more often than not an ignorant liberal democrat — would react against our vested interests.

    To reiterate, there are no plans at this time. The 2010 elections are in November.

    Thank you for the opportunity to enlighten the ignorant readers of this wretched blog.

  5. Rollo Nickels says:

    I call Bullshit! Aggie Sec Charles Bronson is incapable of writing his own name, let alone sending in a comment to a blog he doesn’t read. And that pic of a so-called beetle is actually a blown-up body crab. Something I bet YOU know something about. Bullshit! BULLSHIT!!

  6. Ray Ed Gneck says:

    Are avocados fruits or nuts? Either way, it’s interesting that they’re found mostly in south Florida.

  7. Captain Lou Albano says:

    Thank YEW, Mr Acovado!

  8. Manuel Override says:

    You have this all wrong, amigo. They’re concerned about these vermin infesting abogados — attorneys (in Spanish).

  9. Charlie Chainsaw says:

    All hail Wilma and Katrina!

    When you girls blew that chit to Mickey Rat’s house, it restored my constitutional delusion of no unwarranted search and seizure.

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