Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases
Current Project Highlight
Rapid Expansion of hybridized tumbleweed - Check out this amusing video that highlights an important invasive weed problem.
The Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases initiative works to educate California communities and stakeholders about new and emerging threats to healthy food systems. The panel of experts is involved in cutting edge research in the following three areas:
- Exclusion of pests and pathogens: The first step in controlling the damage of any pest or disease, be it arthropods, vertebrates, weeds, or pathogens, is to exclude it from entering a new region. Exclusion includes diagnostics, detection and interception. Eradication of pests and diseases may be feasible if an early detection system is in place. Lack of early detection may result in expensive pest and disease management costs in the long-term, disruption in commerce and industry prosperity, and human and animal health impacts if diseases are involved.
- Emerging problems with pests and diseases. When new pests and/or diseases emerge, they need to be addressed in order to protect animal health, plant health, public health, food security, food safety, and the environment. Often newly arrived pests and diseases are problems because they lack natural control agents, creating devastating problems as they spread. Endemic pests and diseases can also develop into more serious problems because of external factors such as changes in climate and plant/animal management practices.
- Integrated management. When pests and/or pathogens become established in California, integrated management tactics are needed to reduce their impact on agriculture, natural resources, communities, and human health.