Insects and Mites

Last Modified: March 29, 2024

A PPQ 526 permit is required for the importation, interstate movement and environmental release of most insects and mites that feed upon or infest plants or plant products, including agricultural crops, trees, shrubs, native plants, etc.

Apply for a Permit

If you plan to import an exotic insect or mite, you will most likely be required to import the organism into an inspected containment facility. The following factors are taken into consideration when evaluating the level of containment required to receive imported insects and mites:

  • whether the organism is indigenous to the U.S;
  • whether the organism is indigenous to the area where you plan to move it;
  • host plant availability;
  • size and mobility of organism;
  • life stage to be moved;
  • number of organisms to be shipped; and
  • whether you plan to maintain a colony or destroy them upon arrival. 

Packages of insects or mites being shipped must not contain any plant material, soil, or other plant pests not authorized in the permit. Packages being imported will be inspected by USDA officials at the port of entry. In addition, the importer is responsible for complying with other Federal or State requirements (e.g. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, etc.). Please note that a completed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Form 3-177 may be required.

USDA does not require permits for dead insects and mites (with the exception of dead bees in the superfamily Apoidea under the authority of 7CFR 319.76). Under 7CFR 330.200 “Biological specimens of plant pests, in preservation or dried, may be imported without further restriction under this part, but subject to inspection on arrival in the United States to confirm the nature of the material and freedom from risk of plant pest dissemination.” A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Form 3-177 may be required.

We also suggest that you review list of the domestic quarantine notices. This link has the current federal regulations regarding the interstate movement of specific plant pests, plant diseases, and plants. Each subpart (major heading) covers a different organism.

Permits are also required for the following types of organisms or activities:

  • Butterflies and Moths in Educational Programs or Public Displays
  • Insects in Zoos and Museums
  • Drosophila flies

The movement of genetically modified organisms require permits from Biotechnology Regulatory Services.

The movement of insects, mites and ticks that affect animals or vector animal diseases require permits from Veterinary Services.

The movement of insects, mites and ticks that affect man or vector human diseases require permits from the Centers for Disease Control.

Frequently Asked Questions 
View a list of the commonly asked questions and concerns associated with the application process for insects and mites.

Permit Eligibility for Graduate Students and Post-doctoral Workers  

PPQ Permits Contact Information:

Telephone: (301) 851-2285
FAX: (301) 734-8700