Help Stop the Spread of Invasive Pests

May 6, 2015

The U.S. Department of Agriculture asks the public to help prevent the spread of invasive pests. These pests cost our nation an estimated $120 billion each year in damages to our environment, agriculture and native species.

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has identified 18 “Hungry Pests” as some of the most destructive invasive species that people can unknowingly spread in the things they move, pack and bring home from vacations.
Hungry Pests attack plants, crops and trees, and they can wipe out entire species, from citrus trees (including oranges, lemons, and grapefruits) to ash trees (used to make furniture, flooring, and baseball bats). Because they have no natural enemies here, invasive species can spread unchecked by nature.

One recently detected pest –the old world bollworm – is a serious threat to agriculture and could disrupt commercial production of many major commodities, including corn, cotton, small grains, soybeans, peppers, and tomatoes.
You can help in the effort to help stop the spread of Hungry Pests through a few simple actions:
·    Don’t move firewood; instead, buy firewood where you plan to burn it.
·    Buy plants from reputable sources.
·    Don’t bring or mail fresh produce or plants out of one state or into another.
·    Declare plants and produce to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials when returning from international travel.
·    Don’t move plants or produce outside quarantined areas.
·    Wash dirt from outdoor gear and tires before going to or returning from fishing, hunting or camping trips.
·    Clean lawn furniture and other outdoor items before moving them to a new location.
·    Report signs of invasive pests at