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“Don’t Pack a Pest” Popular at Miami Boat Show

February 17, 2016

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Dr. Gordon Bonn, Supervisor of the Marinas and Canals program, Division of Plant Industry, pauses at the entrance to the 2016 Miami Boat Show. He and other agency representatives greeted hundreds of attendees over the President’s Day weekend, reminding them to help exclude invasive pests from U.S. shores.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services had a strong presence at the Miami Boat Show over the President’s Day weekend, stressing the message, “Don’t Pack a Pest” and urging people to watch for and report the giant African land snail.

“We had many people visit our kiosk in the Central Courtyard to view our outreach materials and take home a message of Don’t Pack a Pest,” said Dr. Gordon Bonn, Supervisor  of the Marinas and Canals program, Division of Plant Industry.

The Don’t Pack a Pest program is administered by FDACS in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The program’s goal is to make international travelers — including boaters — aware of the dangers of bringing agricultural products into the United States.

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Jennifer Mestas and Detector Dog Jammer greeted visitors to the kiosk at the Miami Boat Show. In 2015 alone, interceptions of invasives included: white fly, sage plum moth, Lygus bug, European pepper moth, kaffir lime leaves, mealybug, Hawaiian glaber, California pea leafminer, and olive fruit fly and the giant African land snail.

The giant African land snail has been the subject of an eradication program in South Florida that began in August 2011. The snail is known to consumer more than 250 kinds of crops, poses a danger to human and animal health and can damage structures.

As a regulatory agency of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Division of Plant Industry works to detect, intercept and control plant and honey bee pests that threaten Florida’s native and commercially grown plants and agricultural resources.

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