Saturday, August 20, 2011

Our Call to Action

·         Despite their best efforts, APHIS and its partners cannot defeat invasive species by themselves.  They need you in the fight because you make all the difference in this battle.

·         For example, by deciding not to move firewood on your next camping trip, you might just save a forest that could have been ravaged by any number of pests—Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer, gypsy moth, or Sirex woodwasp—riding on or in your logs to uninfested areas.  This is also important for cut wood that might otherwise move from one home to another (during a residential move or for a family event, for example).  Destructive pests will harm community and neighborhood trees with equal ferocity.

·         Become aware of USDA's guidelines for bringing agricultural items back into the United States if you travel internationally.  USDA restricts or prohibits many of agricultural items from entering the United States because they could carry pests or diseases that could threaten human health or devastate the environment, crops, agricultural animals, ornamental plants, and community landscapes.  Simply leave behind products that could contain insects and diseases.   As we advise in APHIS, don't pack a pest.
o   In fact, the USDA APHIS has just created a hot issues page where important information for international travelers can be found.  Visit and click on “International Travel” under “Hot Issues.”

·         Become aware of the signs of infestation for insects like the Asian Longhorned Beetle or emerald ash borer.  This is important because community residents are often the first to spot something unusual.   For example, in Brooklyn, New York, in Chicago, in Massachusetts and in Ohio, citizens have spied an unusual bug or have seen uncharacteristic damage, reported it to authorities and been the first to uncover infestations of the Asian longhorned beetle.

·         Through your actions, you can become an important protector of America’s agricultural bounty and natural treasures.

·         The simplest and most important thing anybody can do to help fight invasive species is to prevent their introduction and establishment.  Invasive organisms can easily be transported on living plants or fresh products such as fruit.

·         Many pests can be found in recently killed plant material including firewood, lumber, and wood packaging material.  Avoiding the long-range movement of these materials is a simple way to slow the spread of pests.  Buying only certified, pest-free nursery stock is also a good idea.

·         If you think you have identified an invasive species, do not hesitate to call your local APHIS office.  You can find the phone number by clicking on the “Report a pest or disease” link on our Internet home page at

·         You can find a list of specific actions you can take to protect our Nation’s agricultural and ecological health in the APHIS factsheet “Attack of the Invasive Species,” which you can access on our Web site at   I also hope you visit to learn more about invasive pests and use the national pest tracker to find out which pests are threatening your State.  Involved residents can also gain useful tips and information by following the USDA APHIS Twitter feed at  There is a link to Twitter from the APHIS home page.

·         APHIS invites every interested citizen to join us in the fight against invasive plant pests and diseases.  We call can take simple steps like inspecting community trees for signs of invasive pest damage and reporting it.  When planning a residential move, before loading the truck remove gypsy moth egg masses from outdoor tools, toys and furniture.  Adhere to requirements when returning to the U.S. after international travel. And never move firewood as invasive pests can travel to new locations in and on the wood.  All these things, and more, make a difference that truly matters.

·         Help us to protect what we all value so deeply: the agricultural bounty and natural beauty of our country.


Related Posts with Thumbnails