Are you helping invasive pests spread in Pennsylvania or around our country?
You may have heard that invasive plant pests and diseases are primarily introduced through commercial trade — that’s true. But once they are here, these destructive plant pests don’t move far on their own; they are mostly spread by us.
Through our everyday actions — when we take firewood from home to our campsite, mail a gift of homegrown fruits or plants, or order plants, seeds or fruit online — we can contribute to the unintentional spread of any number of destructive plant pests. So when people wonder if their individual actions really matter — the answer is yes.
Damaging pests like the spotted lanternfly and European gypsy moth threaten State College and the entire state of Pennsylvania. These pests can hide on vehicles, trees, forest products, outdoor equipment, outdoor furniture and other outdoor household articles. Fortunately, we’ve slowed the spread of these pests and we need to keep it that way. That’s why it’s important for everyone to learn more about these destructive plant pests, take responsibility for your actions, and help us stop the spread of invasive species.
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This April — Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month — we urge you to help stop the spread of these harmful pests.
Tim Newcamp and Dana Rhodes, Carlisle
Tim Newcamp is state plant health director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Dana Rhodes is a state plant regulatory official with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.