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Invasive Plant Pest Awareness Month is coming this August

Written by Ed Curlett, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Are Japanese beetles eating your roses?  Ever hear of the Mediterranean fruit fly?  Is the Emerald Ash Borer infesting your backyard tree?  All of these insects are plant pests from another part of the world, and they can harm you, your garden, our U.S. crops and even fragile ecosystems.

Are Japanese beetles eating your roses?  Ever hear of the Mediterranean fruit fly?  Is the Emerald Ash Borer infesting your backyard tree?  All of these insects are plant pests from another part of the world, and they can harm you, your garden, our U.S. crops and even fragile ecosystems. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has declared August Invasive Plant Pest Awareness Month, and there are education and outreach activities happening across the country.

Several states are hosting Asian Longhorned Beetle awareness programs. This invasive beetle threatens urban tree canopies and the maple syrup industry.  APHIS wants to teach the public how to identify this invasive insect and what to do to find it so it can be stopped before it spreads.

We are also opening a new Plant Inspection Station in Miami on August 17.  It’s the most recent addition to more than a dozen inspections stations across the country at busy port cities and commerce centers, where APHIS officials inspect plants, cuttings, and seeds and enforce rules and regulations related to the import and export of endangered plant species. The new $25 million, state-of-the-art facility was built to meet the increasing demand for inspection services and to protect Florida’s $87 billion agriculture industry.

Finally, APHIS plans to host a forum about pests in California where regulators, lawmakers, nonprofit organizations and agriculture groups will meet to discuss how they can work together better to stop the advance of invasive plant pests.

You can help stop invasive plant pests too, by learning how to spot some invasive pests, and how to help whether you’re fishing, gardening, camping or travelling around the world.

One Response to “Invasive Plant Pest Awareness Month is coming this August”

  1. SAW says:

    Invasive plants have a little known but major impact on the environment. Once you learn what plants are invasive and what plants are not invasive it’s scary to look around at the environment you live in and realize that most of the plants around you are invasive. Invasive plants have the power to completley change the way environments work which can make life difficult for the plants and animals that live there to survive. The question is why are consumers still allowed to buy certain plants that are invasive and cause a lot of damage to the environment? In the Midwest, the National Park Service spends lots of money at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore eradicating many invasive species of plants that are commonly found at stores like burnin bush, glossy buckthorn, autumn olive and the worst which is honey suckle. Why isn’t there more education about this problem?

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