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Posts tagged: Hungry Pests

Can We Eradicate the Asian Longhorned Beetle?

Asian longhorned beetle and "exit hole." Credit: R. Anson Eaglin, USDA-APHIS

Asian longhorned beetle and "egg site." Credit: R. Anson Eaglin, USDA-APHIS

This past March, almost 11 years after being found in New Jersey, federal and state agriculture officials are finally able to say that the state’s long-running battle against the non-native Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) is over.

New Jersey is the second state to declare itself free from the invasive tree-killing insect.  The beetle was successfully eradicated from Illinois in 2008, and the ALB-regulated area of Islip, New York, also achieved eradication in 2011.  So, getting rid of this “hungry pest” is possible.  That’s good news, because, depending on where you live, 70 percent of your community’s tree canopy could be lost to ALB. Read more »

Don’t Go Green this Spring, Greening Disease (HLB) Kills Citrus

Delicious citrus: Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service

Delicious citrus: Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service

It’s time to grab those gloves and get outside for some gardening!  April is not only a great time to plant citrus trees, but it’s also Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month. Before wielding that shovel, take a few minutes to learn how to keep your trees healthy and prevent the spread of citrus disease.

Citrus greening disease, also known as Huanglongbing (HLB), is one of the most severe plant diseases in the world. The disease has devastated millions of citrus trees in the United States and now has the potential to eliminate the citrus industry.  Once a tree is infected with the disease, there is no known cure. Read more »

When Traveling, Bring Back Fun Memories-Not Invasive Pests!

Agricultural items in passenger baggage: R. Anson Eaglin, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Agricultural items in passenger baggage: R. Anson Eaglin, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Travel is a popular activity for a lot of people.  When traveling outside the United States, what you bring back really does matter.  We want to protect our country from invasive plant pests and diseases to help keep our agriculture and forests safe.

You don’t want to inadvertently bring a pest or disease back with you.  That’s why Customs officials ask you to declare any food, plant items or handicrafts you have with you when you are returning to the U.S.  They know what items pose a risk and need to be kept out of the country. Many of those items are things you may not think could possibly cause a problem, but they could cause severe problems here at home—who wants that? Read more »

A Day in Your Life with Invasive Species

Mexican fruit flies on citrus fruit: Jack Dykinga, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org

Mexican fruit flies on citrus fruit: Jack Dykinga, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org

USDA has proclaimed April to be Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month, so this is the perfect time to consider how invasive species can crawl, swarm or ooze their way into your daily life.  The fact is, invasive pests and diseases hunger for many of the same things we enjoy each day.  And as they feast on America’s agricultural and natural resources, they can devastate crops and forests, throw ecosystems out of balance and lead to lost jobs and closed export markets. Read more »

Spot the Purple Trap for EAB Awareness Week May 20-26

Look for purple traps like this one during EAB Awareness Week.

Look for purple traps like this one during EAB Awareness Week.

This is Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Awareness Week.  Before the Memorial Day holiday and summer travel season begin, we take this time to remind everyone to be careful not to spread the EAB unintentionally.

EAB is one of many “Hungry Pests” that can cause significant damage to our country’s natural resources.  Since first being identified in 2002, EAB is responsible for the destruction of tens of millions of ash trees in 15 states in the Midwest and Northeast. Read more »

Meet USDA’s Youngest Ally in the Fight against Invasive Species: Ben Shrader, Invasive Hunter

In the battle to preserve agriculture and the environment, Ben Shrader is Luke Skywalker and invasive species are Darth Vader.

Ben, a young man from central Texas, first became interested in invasive species after reading a newspaper article about plants wreaking havoc on native ecosystems. Also known as “Commander Ben,” he describes it as a “battle in nature, like good versus evil” and decided that he wanted to help the “good guys” win.

In his first of many spars with invasive species, Ben conducted a science fair project on giant reed (Arundo donax), an invasive plant that is damaging riparian ecosystems in his home state of Texas. But Ben didn’t stop there. Combining his love for filmmaking with his passion for science, Ben created a blog entitled “Commander Ben-The Invasive Hunter,” where he records his exploits and posts videos and other content to teach kids about the fight against invasive species. Read more »