Pest Alert Resources
In today’s digital age, there are numerous resources available that will keep you informed about the introduction and spread of invasive species. On a Federal level, the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program within USDA-APHIS monitors for potential pests that may be introduced to the USA through international trade. In 2016, PPQ identified 162,000 pests in imported shipments, of which 73,700 were quarantine significant. You can learn more about the PPQ plant and disease programs here.
The North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) is another organization reporting pest detection to warn growers about potential invasive species and diseases. Check out their pest alert website to stay up-to-date on all North American pest news and updates.
In Florida, we have the Division of Plant Industry (DPI) within the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This agency protects Florida’s honeybees and native plants from invasive pests. They perform inspections and certify nurseries and apiaries in Florida. They also receive thousands of samples and perform diagnostics for Florida growers. They conduct research on biocontrol options, and coordinate emergency eradication efforts when a pest is introduced into our state. You can follow their pest alerts on their website here.
The Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Program (CAPS) is a collaborative effort between state and federal agencies. This program conducts regular surveys for high-risk pests. CAPS performs inspections of commodities, conveyances, and passenger baggage in order to detect and intercept pest introductions.
All of these agency websites are excellent resources to stay up-to-date on plant biosecurity risks. Here at the University of Florida, the Biosecurity Research and Extension lab is also leading efforts to research control options for introduced pests and educate the public about invasive species.