By Dan Shapley
When it comes to new insect invasions, Florida is ground zero. International flights, a warm climate and a varied array of landscapes help a new insect or mite invade about every month. Some of these visitors are benign, but gardeners have found some truly poor guests. They chow down on the veggies, bore through flower petals and undermine the soil. Experts in every state rely on the observations of gardeners to help them identify new pests and learn ways to control the old ones. The first rule of thumb is to shy away from harsh chemicals -- especially until you've consulted with an expert and explored alternatives. But experts have also warned that, as the climate warms, a new wave of insect invaders are likely to establish themselves in new areas. Expect some of them to be real pests, according to a story in the June 3 Orlando Sentinel.