Don’t Pack a Pest – April is Invasive! Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month!

Pest Awareness month

The USDA has declared April to be “Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month,” during a critical time of year when damaging invasive species emerge and can be easily spread in outdoor items that people pack and move, such as grills, gardening equipment, wading pools, bicycles, and patio furniture.

Invasive species are a series problem. They attack trees, plants and agriculture, costing the United States about $40 billion each year. Household moves increase the risk for the spread of these invasive species, since people can potentially transport them to new areas.

CDFA partners with the USDA to prevent and eradicate invasive species in California. The agencies have a long history of working together on programs like Asian citrus psyllid/huanglongbing, the Mediterranean Fruit Fly, and the European Grapevine Moth.

About 35 million Americans move every year, bringing a high possibility of transporting invasive pests. For instance, federal and state inspectors often find gypsy moth egg masses on outdoor household items and recreational vehicles in non-infested areas. The USDA is offering a free checklist for household moves that includes suggestions and tips for reducing this risk.

Click here for more information about CDFA’s invasive species programs.

Click here for more information about the USDA’s Hungry Pests outreach program.

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