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invasive species

Calling All Outdoor Enthusiasts! Help Protect Your Favorite Forests and Parks from Invasive Species

Summer is nature’s way of telling us to get outside and have some fun! With warmer temperatures and sweet breezes sweeping across the nation, many of us will try to spend more time outside than inside during the coming weeks and months. Since I started working at USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, I’ve learned that some of my favorite recreation sites are threatened by invasive species. I’ve learned how to leave Hungry Pests behind while hitting the trails.

New Web Page Makes Info on Agricultural Pests and Diseases More Accessible

Each year, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) must respond to new threats to America’s agricultural and natural resources often in the form of invasive species or emerging diseases. To raise awareness about these growing threats and our efforts to manage, monitor and regulate their impacts, we’ve launched the new Pests & Diseases web page.

Did the Polar Vortex and its Freezing Temperatures Wipe out the Emerald Ash Borer?

With some news stories suggesting that a majority of invasive species across the United States have been greatly reduced in numbers because of rare frigid temperature this winter it is understandable that some folks might think the battle of the invasive is close to being won. That assumption would be incorrect, mainly because the survivability of certain invasive bugs like the tenaciously destructive Emerald Ash Borer, or EAB.

The U.S. Seed Trade Industry Thanks USDA for Helping It Thrive

Seeds for planting represent tremendous value to the U.S. agricultural economy. In 2016, the United States exported $1.67 billion worth of these seeds and imported $997 million worth of them. This month, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) recognized USDA’s efforts to make the international movement of seeds safer and more efficient. The association presented its 2018 Distinguished Service Award to Osama El-Lissy, Deputy Administrator of USDA’s Plant Protection and Quarantine program.

Tree Breeding: Creating Tomorrow’s Healthy Forests Today

Immobile and long-lived, trees endure extreme weather, fires, and pests for tens, hundreds, and even thousands of years. In Fishlake National Forest, Utah, there is a quaking aspen colony spanning 106 acres that is roughly 80,000 years old. To give you a sense of scale, if the average human lives 79 years, this aspen colony has already lived over a thousand times longer!

Know the Lei of the Land: APHIS Plant Health Safeguarding Specialists’ Work in Hawaii

Aloha! I am a Plant Health Safeguarding Specialist based in Hawaii, where my colleagues and I help protect agricultural crops and natural resources on the U.S. mainland from plant pests like exotic fruit flies, Asian citrus psyllid and the coconut rhinoceros beetle. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s multi-faceted predeparture inspection program supports the movement of travelers, baggage, cargo and mail leaving the Hawaiian Islands, while working to stop the movement of invasive pests.

Protecting Agriculture on the Internet – One Click, One Post, One Sale at a Time

While we are raising awareness about invasive pests during Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month, I wanted to share a bit about what I do every day to protect agriculture. When you picture someone on the front lines of stopping invasive pests, you probably picture someone outside – in a field or a tree. But I fight invasive pests from a completely different location – my computer.

It’s a Small World After All

The United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has proclaimed April 2018 as Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month. The goal of IPPDAM is to: increase public awareness of invasive species; provide tips to prevent their spread; and, encourage residents to report signs of them. Today we highlight USDA’s Heather Coady. Ms. Coady, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) employees like her, assist other countries in their pest control efforts by working to stop pests at the source.

Climbing Trees – How I Met My Beetle Family and Gave Back to the Community

April may be Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month, but I live it year-round. I spend my days with a team of fellow tree climbers, looking for signs of Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) damage in the treetops of Bethel, Ohio. This is where ALB damage is most evident – oftentimes not visible from the ground level. ALB damages and kills maple and other hardwood trees.