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Before you take off or set sail, make sure you don’t pack a pest!

April 7, 2011

DPI is working with you to safeguard Florida’s agriculture industry and environment. Travelers often unknowingly transport harmful plant pests and diseases like Mediterranean fruit flies, red palm mites, citrus greening, cycad scale and many others. It is estimated that one exotic plant pest or disease is introduced into Florida every month.

If you enjoy flying or sailing around the state, be a responsible maritime vessel or aviation operator. Remind passengers of the potential risks associated with bringing fruit and vegetables into Florida. Know the rules about the movement of agricultural products by visiting www.freshfromforida.com or calling 888-397-1517. Safeguard unrefrigerated fruits and vegetables by wrapping them in plastic. Secure peels and other waste from fruits and vegetables in tied plastic bags and dispose of them in a closed dumpster, or double-bag them to set out with household trash. Always be on the lookout and report any suspicious plant pest or disease to your county extension office or to DPI at 888-397-1517. Don’t move firewood. Firewood and unprocessed wood products, including handicrafts, can harbor harmful pests and diseases. Also, purchase plants from registered nurseries. Help keep our food supply safe. When you travel, don’t pack a pest!

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