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Invasive Species Resources

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Washington State Department of Agriculture.

On May 29, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) reported the first confirmed sighting of an Asian giant hornet in Washington this year. On May 27, a resident near Custer, Wash. found the dead specimen while walking on a roadway. The resident submitted a photo and report using WSDA's online Hornet Watch Report Form. On May 28, WSDA entomologists concluded that the photo appeared to show an Asian giant hornet. The hornet was detected near the location of a suspected Asian giant hornet bee kill in 2019. WSDA had already planned trapping in the area and will maintain that plan to try to find any colony that may be there. The first find of the year in the United States comes just days after the British Columbian government confirmed their first detection of the year in Canada near Langley, B.C. That specimen was initially reported to authorities on May 15. Asian giant hornet is the world's largest hornet and a predator of honey bees and other insects. A small group of Asian giant hornets can kill an entire honey bee hive in a matter of hours. Visit agr.wa.gov/hornets to learn more about Asian giant hornets and the state's trapping and eradication project.

USDA. Blog.

Early in October 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was faced once again with New World screwworm, which had been eradicated from the United States more than three decades ago. Infestation of this flesh-eating parasite was confirmed in deer from the National Key Deer Refuge in the Florida Keys.

 

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) immediately began releasing sterile male flies in Florida’s affected areas as part of an aggressive eradication campaign. By March 2017, the screwworm had been successfully eradicated from Florida.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing its plans for combatting the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) in New York, Massachusetts, and Ohio in 2020. "Just last year we declared eradication of ALB from Brooklyn and Queens in New York City, ending the city's 23-year-long battle with the beetle," said Osama El-Lissy, APHIS' Plant Protection and Quarantine Deputy Administrator. "This year, we've mapped out a sound strategy that will further our efforts to eliminate this pest from the remaining areas of this country where it still has a foothold."

Every year, APHIS evaluates and determines the most effective options to achieve ALB eradication. In 2020, the ALB program will focus on inspecting trees in quarantined areas in New York, Massachusetts, and Ohio, and removing infested trees at no cost to property owners. The program will not apply insecticide treatments this year. In addition, program officials will monitor for the beetle’s presence inside and around each area, respond to service calls, conduct training sessions for compliance agreement holders, and perform outreach.

United States Department of Agriculture.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today it is offering $75 million in funding for the eradication and control of feral swine through the Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program (FSCP) in a joint effort between USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The 2018 Farm Bill included this new pilot program to help address the threat that feral swine pose to agriculture, ecosystems and human and animal health. Additional information on the complete funding announcement and about specific pilot projects, including target areas and the roles for which partner assistance is being requested, can be found on the FSCP webpage.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing that effective today, we are transitioning our virulent Newcastle disease (vND) efforts in southern California from a response focus to implementing a prevention plan aimed at keeping vND from recurring in the region. Even with extensive testing taking place, APHIS has not confirmed any new vND cases since February 1, 2020. As a result, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is removing its vND quarantine.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) to combat the Mexican fruit fly (Anastrepha ludens) in Cameron and Willacy Counties in Texas. Following the detection of this pest in Cameron and Willacy Counties in January 2020, APHIS put quarantines in place to contain this fruit fly and is conducting surveys to find and treat infestations. Mexican fruit fly is one of the world's most destructive invasive pests, attacking more than 40 different kinds of fruits and vegetables. This invasive fruit fly does not harm humans or animals but it poses a serious threat to the Texas citrus industry.

APHIS needs the public's help to limit this invasive fruit fly's spread. We are asking residents living or working within Mexican fruit fly quarantine areas to cooperate with survey teams and give them access to your property. Surveyors will have official credentials identifying them as U.S. Department of Agriculture or TDA employees. With the residents' permission, they will inspect fruit trees on residential properties in quarantine zones and hang traps. If APHIS or TDA detect Mexican fruit flies, they will work with residents and business owners to eradicate the pest from infested properties.

If you live in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and think you might have Mexican fruit flies on your property, please call APHIS at 956-421-4041. With your help, we can protect local agriculture and stop the spread of this destructive pest.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the detection of Ralstonia solanacearum race 3 biovar 2 (RSr3b2) in a single variety of geranium plants located in a Michigan greenhouse. This particular type of Ralstonia can cause a wilt disease in several important agricultural crops such as potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. This is the first confirmed case of RSr3b2 in a U.S. greenhouse since 2004. APHIS has taken immediate action to contain and eradicate the disease from the Michigan facility.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of virulent Newcastle disease in a commercial chicken flock in Riverside County, California. This finding is part of an outbreak in southern California that began in May 2018 in backyard exhibition birds. This is the first case in commercial poultry since 2003.

Virulent Newcastle disease is not a food safety concern.  No human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry products.
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of virulent Newcastle disease in a small flock of backyard exhibition chickens in Utah County, Utah. This is the first case of virulent Newcastle disease in Utah. This case is believed to be connected to the current outbreak of virulent Newcastle disease in California, as three of the birds at the premises were recently moved to Utah from Los Angeles County, California. Since May 2018, 299 cases of Newcastle disease have been confirmed in Southern California, primarily in backyard exhibition birds.

Virulent Newcastle disease is not a food safety concern. No human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry products.
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of virulent Newcastle disease in a small flock of pet chickens in Coconino County, Arizona. This is the first case of virulent Newcastle disease in Arizona. This case is believed to be connected to the current outbreak of virulent Newcastle disease in California, as tests show the virus is almost identical to the virus causing disease in California. Virulent Newcastle disease is not a food safety concern. No human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry products. In addition to practicing good biosecurity, all bird owners should report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to their veterinarian or to State veterinary officials. Additional information on biosecurity for all poultry flocks can be found at www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/defendtheflock.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

August is the height of summer, and it is also the best time to spot the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) as it starts to emerge from trees. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is asking the public to take five minutes to step outside and report any signs of this invasive pest. Checking trees for the beetle will help residents protect their own trees and better direct USDA’s efforts to eradicate this beetle from the United States.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

On October 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in coordination with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation announced that they have eliminated the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) from the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. "I am proud to say that we have eradicated Asian longhorned beetle from Brooklyn and Queens," said Greg Ibach, USDA's Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. "This officially marks the end of our 23-year long battle with this pest in New York City."

United States Department of Agriculture.

At a ceremony today, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach declared the United States free of plum pox virus. Under Secretary Ibach signed a proclamation marking this historic announcement. "Today, our 20-year fight against plum pox disease is officially over,” Under Secretary Ibach said. “Working with our partners, we’ve eliminated this disease and protected the United States’ $6.3 billion stone fruit industry." Plum pox is a serious disease impacting stone fruit such as plums, almonds, and peaches. No other countries where plum pox disease is known to occur have successfully eradicated the disease. The disease was first detected in Pennsylvania in 1999.

USDA. FS. Eastern Region.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service Eastern Region is requesting applications for the FY 2021 Landscape Scale Restoration (LSR) competitive grant program. The LSR program encourages collaborative, science-based restoration of priority rural forest landscapes and support for priorities identified in State Forest Action Plans while leveraging public and private resources. The Eastern Region has distributed nearly $20 million in funding for LSR projects since 2016. Objectives for the Landscape Scale Restoration Program:

  • Reduce the risk of uncharacteristic wildfires;
  • Improve fish and wildlife habitats, including for threatened and endangered species;
  • Maintain or improve water quality and watershed function;
  • Mitigate invasive species, insect infestation, and disease;
  • Improve important forest ecosystems;
  • Measure ecological and economic benefits including air quality and soil quality and productivity.


Visit the LSR website to learn more about the program and how to apply. Applications must be received in Grants.gov by 6 p.m. EST on September 17, 2020, with additional draft deadlines outlined on the LSR website.

U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced four grants totaling more than $13.6 million to combat a scourge on the nation's citrus industry, citrus greening disease, aka Huanglongbing. The funding is made possible through NIFA's Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is launching a new outreach campaign focused on preventing the spread of infectious poultry diseases in both commercial and backyard poultry. Considering the devastating impact of the highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in 2014-2015, as well as this year’s outbreak of virulent Newcastle disease, the timing is right for everyone in the poultry community to work together to protect the health of our nation’s flocks. The “Defend the Flock” campaign to promote biosecurity combines and updates two previous campaigns that were each targeted at a specific segment of the poultry population.

USDA. ARS. Tellus.

Scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture are studying ways to keep honeybees stress-free and healthy. These pollinators are important to American agriculture and our nation’s food crops.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Secretary Perdue is making available an additional $45 million to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and its partners to address the ongoing virulent Newcastle disease (vND) outbreak in southern California.  This funding will allow APHIS and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to strengthen their joint efforts to stop the spread of this disease and prevent it from affecting additional commercial flocks.  vND has been confirmed in more than 435 backyard flocks since May 2018.  It was also confirmed in four commercial flocks in December 2018 and January 2019. 

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Traveling for holidays? Then this new site can help you determine what items can be brought into the U.S. Bringing food and other items back from your travels (anytime of the year) could impact the health and safety of American agriculture and natural resources. For example, travelers cannot bring in most fresh fruits and vegetables because they can carry plant pests or diseases.  Just one pest could devastate multiple agricultural industries.

The new site, Traveler Information, provides everyone with important information about which agricultural items are safe to enter the United States – and which ones are best left behind. This helps protect the health of our country’s plants, animals and natural resources, ensuring many happy holidays to come.
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is updating domestic regulations for Phytophthora ramorum (P. ramorum), the causal agent of Sudden Oak Death. From 2004 to 2013, APHIS issued a series of Federal Orders to deregulate nurseries where the pathogen has never been found or had not been found recently. Now, APHIS is codifying these Federal Orders with a final rule. APHIS collected and responded to public comments on this rule in 2018. APHIS has determined that updating the domestic regulations to include all Federal Orders issued in recent years will make it easier to find and comply with current restrictions which are necessary to protect the United States from the artificial spread of P. ramorum. This action will go into effect May 20, 2019.