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Home / Invasive Species Resources

Invasive Species Resources

Provides access to all site resources, 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.

USDAARS. Agricultural Research Magazine.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are tracking a honey bee killer, and their investigations have taken them from hives in Tucson, Arizona, to Bismarck, North Dakota. Led by ARS entomologist Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman, the team is staking out hive entrances and monitoring the comings and goings of foraging honey bees, which may be the killer's unwitting accomplices. None of the busy little winged bearers of pollen and nectar will get by without inspection: The prime suspect—an eight-legged, pinhead-sized parasite called the Varroa mite—seems to be sneaking into the hives on the bees' bodies. The Varroa mite, Varroa destructor, is considered public enemy number one to honey bees nationwide. The parasite feeds on the blood of adult bees and their brood, weakening them and endangering the entire hive when infestations become severe. But the mite also poses an indirect threat to more than 90 flowering crops that depend on bee pollination, including almonds, apples, blueberries, cherries, and cantaloupes.

USDA. Agricultural Research Service.

Emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive insect from Asia that kills ash trees. EAB was first detected in North America in 2002. Several tiny wasp species are helping to control EAB.

USDA. Agricultural Research Service.

Citrus greening is a costly disease that makes citrus fruit unmarketable. No cure exists for infected citrus trees. ARS scientists made a new trap to catch the insects that spread the disease.

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.

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.

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.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has issued the final environmental assessment (EA) for releasing Japanese knotweed psyllid (Aphalara itadori) to manage Japanese, giant, and bohemian knotweeds (Fallopia japonica, F. sachalinensis, and their hybrid, F. x bohemica). After careful analysis, APHIS has determined that releasing Japanese knotweed psyllid within the continental United States is not likely to have a significant impact on the environment. Based on this determination, APHIS will not prepare an environmental impact statement and will begin issuing permits for the release of Japanese knotweed psyllid.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is launching a new “Pests and Diseases” webpage. The new page lists all pest and disease programs managed by APHIS as part of its mission to protect American agriculture and natural resources.

 

On the new page, users can search by type (plant, animal), keyword (avian, fruit fly, cotton), or by the specific pest or disease (coconut rhinoceros beetle, brucellosis). You can also scroll through the page, which lists the pests and diseases alphabetically and includes a corresponding image.

 

APHIS created the webpage to make it easier for its customers to find critical information on pests and diseases of concern. With this tool, members of the public will have the information they need to report pests and diseases and together we can protect America’s agriculture and natural resources.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to lift the domestic quarantine for pine shoot beetle. Despite efforts to control pine shoot beetle since it was first detected in 1992, this pest, which only infests stressed and dying pine trees, is now found in 20 states in the northeast and north central parts of the country. Given the limited impact of interstate movement restrictions on the beetle’s spread and the minimal damage this pest has caused to native pines, plantations, and nursery trade, we are proposing to remove the pine shoot beetle domestic quarantine. This action would allow the states to determine the best approach for managing the pest within their boundaries, relieve impacted businesses and individuals from having to comply with costly and burdensome restrictions, and allow APHIS to focus limited federal resources on higher risk pests. APHIS will carefully consider all comments received.  Beginning Monday, members of the public will be able to submit comments for 60 days, or until November 22, 2019 at: https://www.regulations.gov/docket/APHIS-2016-0065

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is publishing a final rule that removes the federal domestic quarantine regulation for the pine shoot beetle (PSB, Tomicus piniperda). Eliminating this regulation is in keeping with USDA’s goal of reducing regulations that have outlived their usefulness. Removing the quarantine ends APHIS’ domestic regulatory activities, which include actions such as issuing permits, certificates, and compliance agreements, making site visits, and conducting investigations of suspected violations. APHIS, in consultation with the National Plant Board, considers pine shoot beetle to be a minor pest that can be controlled locally, given its slow spread and the minimal damage it causes.

The final rule will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register on October 1, 2020 or on Nov. 2, 2020. Documents may be viewed online at https://www.regulations.gov/document/APHIS-2016-0065-0001 upon publication.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has again reopened the comment period on the protocols for regulating and deregulating pale cyst nematode (PCN)-infested and associated areas. APHIS initially accepted comments on the protocols March 1, 2019, and again on June 26, 2019 for 30 days. APHIS is providing the public with an additional opportunity to comment on the science supporting the protocols, including the sources of the methods informing their content. In an effort to give all interested parties ample opportunities to comment, we are reopening the comment period for 30 days beginning June 5, 2020 and ending July 6, 2020. Members of the public are encouraged to participate in the development of these protocols by submitting comments starting on the day of publication until July 6, 2020 at: https://www.regulations.gov/docket/APHIS-2018-0041.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is seeking feedback on its proposed list of pests and diseases of concern that are likely to pose a high risk to U.S. agricultural and natural resources.

Section 12203 of the 2018 Farm Bill requires pest- and disease-planning activities that mirror the extensive planning efforts APHIS already performs. Specifically, it requires APHIS to develop a uniform list of pests and diseases that represent the gravest threat to the United States and to develop comprehensive response plans to ensure Federal and State governments are prepared to respond to them.

See Animal and Plant Diseases and Pests of Concern for more information. The agency will review comments from the public about the list, including suggestions of pests or diseases that should be added or removed. In providing comments, individuals should keep in mind that the Farm Bill definition of a pest or disease of concern limits this list to those that are “likely to pose a significant risk to the food and agricultural critical infrastructure sector” and is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all possible pests or diseases. Comments may be submitted to APHISPestDiseaseList@usda.gov.

USDA. ARS. Agricultural Research Magazine.
May/Jun 2012 - Vol. 60, No. 5

USDA. Agricultural Research Service.

Research by scientists at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the University of Maryland released today sheds new light -- and reverses decades of scientific dogma -- regarding a honey bee pest (Varroa destructor) that is considered the greatest single driver of the global honey bee colony losses. Managed honey bee colonies add at least $15 billion to the value of U.S. agriculture each year through increased yields and superior quality harvests. The microscopy images are part of a major study showing that the Varroa mite (Varroa destructor) feeds on the honey bee’s fat body tissue (an organ similar to the human liver) rather than on its “blood,” (or hemolymph). This discovery holds broad implications for controlling the pest in honey bee colonies.