Visiting Hawaii Or Puerto Rico? Bring Back Memories, Not Invasive Species
North American Precis Syndicate
With a little care, you can have a good time on America's tropical isles without bringing invasive pests back to the mainland. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—Considering a trip to Hawaii
or Puerto Rico? These exotic destinations
offer adventure and beauty without the headache of passports, immunizations
or foreign currency. While Hawaii and Puerto
Rico are rich in unique plants, flowers and fruits, they are also home to
insects and plant diseases—some invasive and not found in the
continental United States.
If your travel plans include these islands, the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) is encouraging you to pack in the adventure and bring back the
memories, not invasive pests.
USDA protects America’s agriculture and forests from invasive
insects and plant diseases that can consume and kill many species of plants,
trees and food crops. Invasive plant pests cost our nation about $40 billion
each year in damage and eradication costs, lost trade revenue, and higher
food prices at home due to reduced crop yields.
Few people think about invasive pests when enjoying some rest and
relaxation. But simply bringing back souvenirs like fresh produce, flowers,
plants or crafts made from plants or wood can have devastating impacts on our
farms, forests or backyards.
This year, when you make your travel plans, also plan to play it safe.
Learn which items are safe to bring back by visiting USDA’s “Traveler
Information” page. And always declare any plants, soil, fruits,
vegetables, fresh herbs, flowers or souvenirs made from plants or wood, so a
USDA official can inspect them and make sure they’re pest free.
Thinking about mailing a package of fruit, vegetables or plants to someone
stateside? Call your local USDA office in Hawaii
or Puerto Rico first to find out what’s
Have fun when traveling to Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Know what’s safe to bring back from
your trip, so you don’t pack a pest. Learn more by visiting www.aphis.usda.gov/plant-health/predeparture.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)