Pests can hitchhike on plants and other agricultural items sent through both international and domestic mail and by express courier.
Always follow USDA’s regulations to keep pests from spreading through the mail. Otherwise, USDA or U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials can seize restricted items, and you can face a large fine – regardless of whether you shipped the item yourself or someone else mailed it to you.
Invasive plant pests and diseases.
These dangerous hitchhikers can travel on agricultural products mailed within the United States from infested areas and from foreign countries. Restricted items – which vary depending on whether they are being mailed inside or outside the U.S. – may include fruits, vegetables, plants, soil, flowers, seeds, herbal medicines and some plant-based handicrafts. Learn more about safely receiving foreign products in the mail here.
Your plants and gardens, commercial food crops and grocery bill! Even a single mango infested with fruit fly larvae that is mailed to you, then thrown into your garbage, could lead to a new fruit fly outbreak. Eradicating those destructive pests might cost the United States millions of dollars, which could impact the amount you pay for food.
Mailing agricultural products is not the same as carrying them with you into the United States through an airport or across a border, as different procedures apply. Visit www.aphis.usda.gov/travel to learn more.