The USDA is fighting Hungry Pests on three fronts.
Fighting Hungry Pests is an enormous challenge. And as new pests arrive on our borders, the task only grows.
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) protects U.S. agricultural and natural resources from risks associated with the entry, establishment, or spread of agricultural pests and diseases, as well as invasive and harmful weeds. Prevention alone requires extensive multi-agency coordination, APHIS works very closely with its many partners at the Federal, State, county, and local levels and at universities and nongovernmental organizations.
See below efforts and consider working in partnership with us to alleviate hungry pests.
Right now, we're taking the fight to Hungry Pests on three fronts: abroad, at the source; at the border, before they get in; and across the homeland, fighting back against the pests that have slipped through.
1. We're helping to fight Hungry Pests abroad so they don't get here.
To stay ahead of the threat of Hungry Pests, we're assisting other countries in their pest control efforts and working to stop the pests at the source.
Here are a few of our key efforts:
- Assisting other countries in their pest and disease survey, control, suppression and eradication efforts. For example, we're working with Mexico and Guatemala to eradicate the Medfly from Mexico and maintain a barrier against the pest in Guatemala. By halting the Medfly's northern spread there, we protect the United States from a serious agricultural threat while it's still far away.
- Inspecting certain U.S.-bound exports to ensure they're pest- and disease-free before they depart.
- Helping other countries to develop the capability to export safe agricultural products to the United States.
2. Working at the border, we draw our line in the sand.
It's vital to do an effective job at stopping Hungry Pests at the gate. Working with other countries, we've established a host of barriers. And we help make sure our border inspections are working.
Here are a few of our border efforts:
- We're working with other countries to develop science-based standards that we all agree to through the International Plant Protection Convention. For example, thanks to international standards we helped to establish in 2002, wood packaging material that could be carrying tree-killing beetles must now be treated and marked with an official international stamp.
- We're supporting agricultural inspections at U.S. ports of entry by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
- We're working to prevent the entry of smuggled agricultural goods.
3. Across the homeland, we're always on the trail of Hungry Pests.
When Hungry Pests slip through, we're committed to hunting them down and putting them in their place. We work with state partners on detection and control, and we help spread the word to make sure everyone is doing their part.
Here are a few of our current efforts:
- We're conducting surveys across the country for invasive pests each year with our State partners.
- We're working to detect pests and diseases early and responding rapidly to avoid large-scale agricultural, environmental and economic losses—and to keep our export markets open.
- We're informing the public about the risk of invasive species and teaching them how to protect America's natural beauty and agricultural bounty.