Watch Out for These 15 Yard-and-Garden Pests

The USDA has identified 15 highly invasive species, called “Hungry Pests,” that have cost the U.S. billions of dollars and are destroying trees, plants and crops. Here’s what you can do to prevent the spread of these invaders to your garden.

The USDA’s top 15 “Hungry Pests” are set on a path of destruction that could affect you at home as well as in your community. For example, the emerald ash borer has wiped out tens of millions of ash trees. It’s especially dangerous because there’s no treatment; trees must be felled and the wood disposed of.

Fortunately, you can take steps to slow down or even stop these pests. Learn how to spot them so that if you do see them when you’re outdoors gardening, camping or traveling, you can report them to your state’s department of agriculture.



Prevention is also important, so be aware that:

  • Invasive pests can easily be transported on living plants or fresh products, such as fruit.
  • You can find many pests in recently killed plant material, so inspect firewood, lumber and wood-packaging material.
  • You can avoid bringing pests home on purchased plants by shopping only at a reputable nursery.
  • Invasive plant species can encourage pests, so avoid planting them.

Find out what else you can do to fight these invaders, and watch the video “Seven Ways to Leave Hungry Pests Behind.”