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MDARD: Watch out for invasive plants, pests when shopping

Young man planting in the garden
Posted at 1:25 PM, Jun 06, 2022

LANSING, Mich. — The state of Michigan is asking residents to be aware of invasive pests and plants as we head into gardening season this year.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) says it’s important to consider how plants will affect other plants while shopping and gardening, noting the lack of natural predators invasive plants may have.

Additionally, we’re told invasive pests and diseases can “hitch a ride” on Michigan-native plants and spread from residents’ yards.

“People can unintentionally move pests around the state,” explains Plant Health Section Manager Robin Rosenbaum. “Many of the pests we are most concerned about can hide in or on untreated firewood, soil, seeds, and plants. Some pests such as spotted lanternfly can lay eggs on conveyances in an infested region and then be transported into Michigan.”

The state has incorporated these plant pest quarantines in an effort to curb the spread of invasive diseases and pests, including spongy moths.

Residents are advised to buy plants locally from state-licensed nurseries (as opposed to buying online) and to do the following:

  • Visit Michigan.govto learn how to recognize invasive pest species.
  • Purchase certified firewood that was treated with heat.
  • Declare all plants, food and agricultural material to customs when returning from outside the country.
  • Ensure all plants and seeds aren’t invasive to your area when shopping online.
  • Report invasive diseases and pests online or by calling 800-292-3939.

Click here for more information.

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