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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA FAQ's and resources about coronavirus (COVID-19).  LEARN MORE

Moving and Outdoor Household Items

Protect your new neighborhood and surrounding natural areas before you move.

Simply inspect your outdoor household articles (lawn furniture, yard equipment, outdoor toys, and the like) for insects and insect egg masses and remove them. Without checking, you can unwittingly bring a damaging invasive pest with you and risk killing the trees and bushes that attracted you to your new community.

Invasive insects can lay their eggs on patio furniture, grills, toys, and other outdoor items. Insect larvae can hide in firewood or wooden pallets and crates, in the wood or underneath the bark. Adult insects can fly, crawl, or hop inside your open vehicle window, truck trailer, or container. Insect eggs, larvae, and adults can lurk in or on fruit, vegetables, and plants.

If you move any of these things, you could accidentally give a free ride to harmful pests! And when they arrive with you, they’ll find a new area to infest!

Invasive pests can destroy trees and shrubs, infest orchards and vineyards, damage crops and gardens, and throw ecosystems out of balance. These destructive pests cost the nation $40 billion annually.

What’s at risk?

Gypsy moths caterpillars defoliate, weaken, and can kill more than 300 species of trees and shrubs.

The spotted lanternfly feeds on over 70 plants, including grapes, hops, and fruit and hardwood trees. It excretes sticky honeydew that attracts stinging insects, making them a nuisance to people.

The emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle bore into trees and kill them by eating them from the inside. They threaten forests across the nation.

Imported fire ants eat crops and have a fearsome sting. Their large nests can damage agricultural equipment.

Keep it clean and outsmart invasive species.

Learn how to move firewood, outdoor gear, plants and plant parts, and agricultural materials without accidentally spreading invasive pests.

Clean lawn furniture and other outdoor items whenever you transport them. Check for gypsy moth and spotted lanternfly egg masses and remove them before you leave.

Be sure to visit USDA’s “Your Move Gypsy Moth Free” website. It explains the legal requirements for people moving out of an area under quarantine for gypsy moth. The entire northeast quarter of the United States (and a little more) is under quarantine

Keep vehicle windows closed, and check truck beds and wheel wells for hitchhiking pests.

If you work for a business in a state that has the spotted lanternfly, visit our “Businesses Can Help Stop the Spotted Lanternfly” web page.

Other Tips to Protect Your Move

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