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Red palm mite makes officials shudder
By Times Wires
Published December 7, 2007
The state hoped never to find it on the guest list.
Apalm tree at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center is host to a pest that has been ravaging the Caribbean and threatens to alter Florida's landscape.
The red palm mite, a tiny pest that severely damages palms, causing fronds to turn yellow and brown and then fall off, was discovered on a sentinel palm at the hospital on Burns Road, state officials said.
It marks the first confirmed report of the mite in the United States.
The economic repercussions for Florida's landscape industry could be significant, said Nolan Lemon, a spokesman for the U.S. Agriculture Department.