What is an invasive pest?
Invasive species are organisms that are introduced to an area where they are not known to occur. They may be a virus, bacteria, insect, plant, or weed, etc. When a non-native organism is released into a new area, it will arrive without its natural enemies and the population can explode without anything standing in the way. This not only presents a big problem for farmers and our backyard gardens, but can also push out our native species and upset the balance of our unique ecosystems.
On average, a new pest is introduced into California every 60 days. California is the top agricultural producer in the United States, and produces over 400 different commodities, which account for about half of all U.S. - grown fruit, nuts and vegetables. Each year, invasive insects and diseases cost our state’s agricultural industry approximately $3 billion in control costs, crop losses and export losses.
Below are a few examples of insects that are of major concern to California’s natural resources.
- California Department of Food and Agriculture : invasive species
- California Invasive Species Council
- Plant Right - promoting noninvasive plants from the Calif Horticultural Invasives Prevention
- California Department of Fish and Wildlife : invasive species
- Don't Pack a Pest
- Plant Heroes, America Public Gardener's Association - K-12 student oriented educational material on invasive species