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Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month

Emerald Ash BorerApril is Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that invasive pests cause $120 billion annually in damages, as they harm native species, the environment in which they don’t belong and local agriculture. To aid with their campaign, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) division of the USDA created the Hungry Pests website to help citizens identify and prevent the most destructive invasive species in the country. Washington and Oregon pest management companies encourage you to check out the website.

Oregon Pest Management Experts on How Invasive Species Spread

Oregon and Washington pest control experts state that humans often introduce invasive species and diseases into the country or from one state to another in:

  • Luggage
  • Plant and organic materials
  • Non-local firewood
  • Outdoor gear

Look Out for these Invasive Pests in the Northwest

Portland and Seattle pest control experts urge you to keep an out for these newer invasive species and plant diseases:

  • Emerald ash borer: An insect with a shiny dark green exoskeleton that’s making its way westward across the country; it attacks ash trees; prevent it by inspecting ash lumber products and only using local firewood
  • Sudden oak death (SOD): Found in California and Oregon; caused by mold pathogens; SOD affects a variety of trees and causes calluses to form on bark that ooze a reddish or black material; other identifying features include twig dieback and dark spots on leaves; be aware of quarantine areas in your area and report incidents to agricultural authorities
  • European grapevine moth: Currently only in California; the moth and its larva attack grape flowers and the fruit, which may lead to bunch rot fungus; do not bring grape plants or grapes into the Northwest that didn’t pass proper inspection protocols
  • Khapra beetle: Found in California and other western states, the beetle prefers warm, dry environments; it destroys stored grains, as well as dried plant and animal products; avoid bringing dry grains into the country that did not pass U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Inspections; only buy imported dry food products from reputable dealers
  • Light brown apple moth: Currently only in California and Hawaii; the Australia native has brown upper wings and white lower wings; the moth feeds on several types of agricultural produce and common plants, including roses, clover, jasmine and chrysanthemums; prevention involves only purchasing produce and plants that passed USDA inspections, as well as not bringing plants across state lines that didn’t pass inspection protocols
  • Spotted lantern fly: A flying insect with black spots and bright red markings on its lower wings; it may have a bright red colors and white spots on its body; the fly feeds on fruit, ornamental plants and woody trees, threatening the grape and logging industries; inspect trees and plants for egg masses
  • Imported fire ant: Found in California and other western states, imported fire ants feed on corn, citrus, soybean and okra crops; the ants girdle young trees and the venom in their sting harms young animals; the ants are known to displace native ant species; only use soil from other states that passed proper inspection protocols

Everyone has an important role in preventing the introduction of invasive pests and plant diseases. If you spot any of the insects or diseases listed, immediately report it to Eden. Our Seattle and Portland pest control experts are happy to identify insects for free and will report invasive species to the proper authorities.

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