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Home / Invasive Species Resources

Invasive Species Resources

Provides access to all site resources (alphabetically), with the option to search by species common and scientific names. Resources can be filtered by Subject, Resource Type, Location, or Source.

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USDA. ARS. Tellus.

ARS scientists at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center in Orient Point, NY, have made two important advancements against African swine fever virus, which causes a lethal disease in pigs.

USDA. Blog.

Humans adores trees. But humans also migrate and trade, habits that led to the accidental introduction of insects and diseases that harm trees and alter the landscape. Examples are easy to find and may be outside your front door: American elms that once dotted streets across America succumbed to Dutch elm disease. Now all colors of ash species – black, green, white, pumpkin, and blue – are threatened by emerald ash borer. The already uncommon butternut tree, also known as white walnut, faces the possibility of extinction from a mysterious attacker. Many invasive insects and fungi come from regions where native trees have evolved to resist their attacks. When these species enter the United States, they find trees that lack this resistance. There's no immediate end to this dismal pipeline, but there is hope on the horizon.

USDA. Agricultural Research Service.
USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is rolling out Tellus, its new online communications platform, replacing its legacy AgResearch online magazine. ARS is committed to sharing the stories of its scientists and their successes and looks forward to informing and entertaining viewers about the many ways ARS’ revolutionary research impacts the growing world.

USDA. Agricultural Research Service.

Along the Rio Grande in Texas, tiny insects are taking a big bite out of an invasive weed that competes for limited water resources vital to agriculture and native vegetation. Several years ago, ARS scientists released two insect species as part of a biocontrol program to kill giant reed (Arundo donax).

United States Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today applauded research and protection efforts underway at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to prevent the spread of African Swine Fever virus, which has been causing devastating losses to the swine industry across the globe. "USDA agencies are working together to protect U.S. livestock from foreign and emerging animal diseases that could harm our economy and public health," said Secretary Vilsack. "I am proud of the extraordinary research underway at the Agricultural Research Service to develop vaccine candidates to prevent African Swine Fever virus. In addition, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has done tremendous work to establish protection zones to safeguard the entire U.S. swine industry."

African Swine Fever (ASF) was originally detected in 2007 in the Republic of Georgia and is known to cause virulent, deadly disease outbreaks in wild and domesticated swine. Since the original outbreak, ASF has had a widespread and lethal impact on swine herds in various countries in Eastern and Central Europe and throughout Asia. Although the virus is causing profound economic losses to the swine industry, there have not been any U.S. outbreaks.

U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) proclamation to recognize the designation of the week of June 21 – 27, 2021 as National Pollinator Week.

Pollinator species, such as birds, bats, bees, and other insects, play an important role in producing more than 100 crops grown in the United States. Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $18 billion in value to agricultural crops annually and are critical to ensuring our diets are plentiful with fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.
USDA's Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) continuously takes steps to enhance our ability to exclude, control, and eradicate pests and increase the safety of agricultural trade. Across the country, PPQ worked with the States and other partners to detect, contain, and when possible, eradicate invading pests. On the world stage, PPQ worked closely with our international trading partners to develop and promote science-based standards, helping to create a safe, fair, and predictable agricultural trade system that minimizes the spread of invasive plant pests and diseases. Learn about the many successes and accomplishments captured in the 2018 report (APHIS 81-05-021) and how PPQ is working every day to keep U.S. agriculture healthy and profitable.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has analyzed the potential environmental effects of establishing an integrated management strategy to control cogongrass in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina. The draft environmental assessment is now available for comment. Cogongrass is an invasive exotic grass found on public and private property, along roadways, in forests, and on farmland. This federally regulated noxious weed grows rapidly, reducing forest productivity, harming wildlife habitat and ecosystems, and encroaching on pastures and hayfields. Because of cogongrass' impact on agriculture and forest industries, Congress has given APHIS funding to partner with Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina to control the spread of this weed. APHIS is proposing is an integrated management strategy that uses preventive, cultural, mechanical, biological, and chemical methods to control cogongrass in key areas of its distribution. APHIS invites the public to review and comment on this environmental assessment by April 1, 2020.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has analyzed the potential environmental impacts of releasing a parasitoid wasp to biologically control the Russian wheat aphid. The Russian wheat aphid is a wingless, pale yellow-green or gray-green insect lightly dusted with white wax powder that feeds and develops on grass and cereal species. The biological control agent is a small, stingless wasp called Aphelinus hordei that can be used to reduce the severity of damage caused by Russian wheat aphids. Based on our assessment and other relevant data, releasing this biological control agent will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. APHIS invites the public to review and comment on the environmental assessment until June 4, 2020, 30 days after publication in the Federal Register on May 5, 2020. Go to https://www.regulations.gov/docket/APHIS-2020-0009 to comment.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is expanding the Phytophthora ramorum (P. ramorum) quarantine area in Del Norte County, California. APHIS is taking this action in response to the confirmation of P. ramorum in the county on September 19, 2020. The California Department of Food and Agriculture has established an intrastate quarantine for the areas in Del Norte County that mirrors the federal regulatory requirements as specified in 7 CFR 301.92.

P. ramorum is the pathogen that causes sudden oak death, ramorum leaf blight, or ramorum dieback. Sudden oak death was first reported in 1995 on tan oak in Mill Valley, Marin County, California. Through ongoing surveys, APHIS continues to define the extent of the pathogen's distribution in the United States and uses quarantine areas and public outreach to limit its artificial spread beyond infected areas. Details on APHIS-designated P. ramorum quarantine and regulated areas and the conditions to move regulated articles are in 7 CFR 301.92 and at the APHIS website.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is adding Eau Claire and Richland Counties in Wisconsin to the list of quarantine areas for gypsy moth (GM). The GM populations in these counties have reached the threshold to trigger the quarantine expansion. To prevent the further spread of GM, the attached Federal Order (PDF | 186 KB) establishes Eau Claire and Richland Counties in Wisconsin as quarantine areas. Effective immediately, all interstate movement of GM-regulated articles from Eau Claire and Richland Counties must be handled in accordance with the attached Federal Order. Wisconsin has established a parallel state quarantine.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is continuing its efforts as part of the agency’s Farm Bill programs to advance animal disease preparedness and response. APHIS is seeking project proposals for fiscal year (FY) 2021 funding for the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP) and the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN). The agency is also announcing its next round of purchases for the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (NAVVCB). The 2018 Farm Bill provided funding for these programs as part of an overall strategy to help prevent animal pests and diseases from entering the United States and reduce the spread and impact of potential disease incursions through advance planning and preparedness. In FY 2021, APHIS will make available up to $20 million in funds for NADPRP and NAHLN. Proposals must be submitted by 11:59 PM EDT on Aug 6, 2021.

See also: APHIS Programs Authorized by the Farm Bill

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is accepting comment on an environmental assessment (EA) that addresses the environmental impacts of releasing the insects Bikasha collaris and Gadirtha fusca to biologically control the invasive Chinese tallow tree (Triadica sebifera) in the contiguous U.S.

APHIS is making the EA available to the public for review and comment for thirty days starting on Jan 21, 2021. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before Feb 22, 2021 at: https://www.regulations.gov/docket/APHIS-2020-0035.

*USDA has re-opened the comment period and will consider comments received by April 23, 2021. To comment, go to https://www.regulations.gov/docket/APHIS-2020-0035.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Clemson University’s Department of Plant Industry (DPI) announced their plans for combatting the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) in Charleston County, South Carolina. In June, APHIS and DPI confirmed the beetle is infesting trees in the county. The eradication strategy in South Carolina will be like those used for other ALB infestations in the United States. It includes establishing a quarantine, removing infested trees, and potentially using, with the landowner’s permission, a combination of tree removal and chemical treatment for trees that are within a half-mile radius of an infested tree.

If you live in the regulated area (PDF | 576 KB), please help by allowing officials access to your property to inspect and remove trees. If you live in Charleston County or nearby counties, please look for ALB and examine your trees for any damage that may be caused by the beetle, such as dime-sized exit holes in tree trunks and branches. Please take pictures and, if possible, capture suspicious insects in a durable container and freeze them, which helps to preserve the insect for identification. ALB is not harmful to people or pets. Report the insect or tree damage by calling the ALB hotline at 1-866-702-9938 or online at www.AsianLonghornedBeetle.com.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is changing its approach to fight the emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation that has spread through much of the United States. The Agency is publishing a final rule that removes the federal domestic EAB quarantine regulations that have proved ineffective and will redirect resources to more promising methods. Removing the quarantine regulations ends APHIS' domestic regulatory activities, which includes actions such as issuing permits, certificates and compliance agreements, making site visits, and conducting investigations of suspected violations.

The final rule and the response to the comments we received will publish in the Federal Register on December 15, 2020 and be rule will be effective on January 14, 2021. Documents may be viewed online at https://www.regulations.gov/docket/APHIS-2017-0056 upon publication.

For more information, see: Questions and Answers: Changes in the Approach toward Fighting the Emerald Ash Borer (Dec 2020; PDF | 692 KB)

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has deployed a new, high-tech tool to help protect U.S. nursery and specialty crop growers from a disease-causing microbe called Ralstonia solanacearum. APHIS' Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program is now using molecular diagnostics (MDx) at its plant inspection stations to rapidly detect R. solanacearum on imported geranium (Pelargonium) plant cuttings. PPQ developed this extra level of protection following the detection of R. solanacearum in April 2020, which triggered an emergency response in 44 states involving 650 nurseries. PPQ successfully eradicated R. solancearum from the United States just two months later.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Effective immediately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), in cooperation with the South Carolina Clemson University’s Department of Plant Industry, is placing 58.6 square miles under quarantine for Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). APHIS is taking this action in response to the June 4, 2020, confirmation of ALB at a residence in Hollywood, Charleston County, South Carolina, and subsequent tree surveys confirming ALB-infested trees in and near Hollywood.

More information on ALB is available on the APHIS website. For additional information regarding the ALB Program, please contact the ALB National Policy Manager, Paul Chaloux, 301-851-2068.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Effective September 30, 2021, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) established an Oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis or OFF) quarantine in the San Jose area of Santa Clara County, California. This action is in response to the confirmed detections of six adult male OFF from the San Jose area by CDFA between September 13 and September 24, all from traps in various types of fruit trees in residential areas. By October 4, CDFA confirmed the seventh male OFF in the vicinity of the earlier finds, which expanded the quarantine further. The establishment of this quarantine area is reflected on the APHIS website, which contains a description of all current Federal fruit fly quarantine areas.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Effective immediately, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), in cooperation with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI), is establishing quarantines for Huanglongbing (HLB; citrus greening), caused by Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, in all of Baldwin and Mobile Counties in Alabama. APHIS is taking this action because of HLB detections in plant tissue samples collected in multiple locations in Alabama.

APHIS is applying safeguarding measures on the interstate movement of regulated articles from the quarantined counties in Alabama. These measures parallel the intrastate quarantine that ADAI established on June 2, 2020. This action is necessary to prevent the spread of HLB to non-infested areas of the United States.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Effective May 11, 2021, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYS AGM) expanded the European cherry fruit fly (ECFF) quarantine to include all of Monroe County and Wayne County and a small portion of northwestern Ontario County, New York. With this expansion, the ECFF quarantine now includes all of Erie, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, and Wayne Counties. This action is necessary to prevent the spread of ECFF to non-infested areas of the United States, while maintaining commercial cherry production and marketing within the state. The APHIS website reflects the expansion of this quarantine and contains a description of all the current federal fruit fly quarantine areas.