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Traveling for Labor Day? Don’t Pack a Pest!

September 2, 2015

Traveling for the Labor Day weekend? Don’t Pack a Pest.

Invasive pests and diseases could be lurking on any agricultural product in your suitcase or in your vehicle – on an orange, in the soil on your flip flops and even in the firewood for the campfire.

If infested items are brought across state or national borders, invasive pests and diseases can spread. Invasive species are, by definition, non-native. They evolved in a different ecosystem, so they will have few natural enemies in their new home. They will likely compete with native species for resources — food, water and light. Often, invasive species are harmful to agricultural crops and threaten natural resources.

DPAP postcardCelebrate Labor Day, but maintain our national security.

Here are three important tips to remember when traveling:

  • Don’t bring agricultural products home with you. That includes fruits and vegetables, meats, plants, etc. Be sure to clean the soil from your shoes or clothing before repacking for the return home.
  • Don’t move firewood. If you are camping, buy local, certified firewood when you arrive. Firewood may harbor pests that could be potentially harmful if introduced into new environments.
  • Spread the word. Tell others about the dangers of importing pests. If you see or hear of any invasive pests or witness the entry of any illegal agricultural products, report them by calling the FDACS Helpline at 1-888-397-1517.

If you are traveling internationally this holiday weekend, check www.dontpackapest.com to learn what you can bring back into the U.S.

We wish you a safe, pleasant and pest-free Labor Day weekend.

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