California produces more than 400 agricultural commodities, with over a third of the country’s vegetables grown in the state. In 2016, California exported over $20 billion worth of these agricultural commodities. Strawberries as well as vegetables such as lettuce and tomato are among the top eight commodities in California, valued at more than $5 billion in 2016. Invasive pests are a growing threat to California agriculture and landscapes. Invasive and endemic pests cause significant losses to the yield and quality of food crops. Additionally, in the urban environment, pests damage or are a nuisance in homes, home gardens, or landscapes, resulting in costly losses. To protect strawberry and vegetable crops, growers need to stay informed about pests and their management. Similarly, urban communities need to help to address endemic and invasive pest issues. Pests are organisms that damage or interfere with desirable plants in fields and orchards. A pest can be a plant (weed), vertebrate (bird, rodent, or other mammal), invertebrate (insect, tick, mite, or snail), nematode, pathogen (bacteria, virus, or fungus) that causes disease, or other unwanted organism that may harm water quality, animal life, or other parts of the ecosystem.
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