News Feed Item

America's Help Needed to Squash the Spread of USDA's Targeted 'Hungry Pests'

USDA's Campaign Anti-Hero, 'Vin Vasive,' Lends a Creepy Hand in New, Compelling Videos

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) is calling on the public to help stop the spread of 15 invasive species dubbed "Hungry Pests." These non-native insects, other animals, plants and diseases could devastate America's crops, trees and plants, and are often unknowingly spread through human actions. To help get the word out, USDA-APHIS is deploying its Hungry Pests' anti-hero, Vin Vasive, in a series of eerie videos that debut in April during Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month.

"Hungry Pests have a tremendous impact on our economy, environment and public health," said Osama El-Lissy, deputy administrator of USDA-APHIS' Plant Protection and Quarantine program. "They have already cost the U.S. billions of dollars and threaten many aspects of our everyday lives – from the food on our tables, to the forests we camp in, to the flowers in our gardens. When people are out hiking, gardening and traveling this spring and summer, we are asking them to be extra vigilant."

El-Lissy added, "We think Vin Vasive and the videos will help drive home the messages about how people can help to 'Leave Hungry Pests Behind.'"

With the public as a crucial line of defense against Hungry Pests, USDA-APHIS is asking everyone to take a few simple actions that can greatly reduce the spread of invasive species. These actions are:

  • Don't move untreated firewood.
  • Buy plants, including ones online, from reputable sources.
  • Don't bring or mail fresh fruits, vegetables or plants into your state or another state unless agricultural inspectors have cleared them beforehand.
  • Declare all agricultural items to customs officials when returning from abroad.
  • Comply with agricultural quarantines.
  • Wash outdoor gear and tires free from dirt before leaving fishing, hunting or camping trips.
  • Clean lawn furniture and other outdoor items before moving.
  • Report signs of an invasive pest or disease at www.HungryPests.com.

Vin Vasive, a man-like figure made entirely of invasive species, will make dramatic appearances in a series of five, 30-second videos created to remind people what actions they can take to prevent the spread of Hungry Pests. The edgy, attention-grabbing videos – starting with the first video, which reminds people about the importance of not moving firewood – will be shared on Facebook and YouTube throughout spring and summer, a particularly vulnerable time for America's agriculture and forests as a surge in outdoor activity increases the spread of invasive species.

USDA's targeted 15 Hungry Pests are putting our agriculture, forests and food supply at risk. They include four moths (European grapevine moth, false codling moth, gypsy moth and light brown apple moth), three flies (Mediterranean fruit fly, Mexican fruit fly and Oriental fruit fly), three beetles (Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer and Khapra beetle), two diseases (citrus greening, sudden oak death), the insect that spreads citrus greening (Asian citrus psyllid), one ant (imported fire ant), and one snail (giant African snail).

To learn more, go to HungryPests.com, or join the conversation on Facebook, www.facebook.com/hungrypests. The website includes photos and descriptions of the 15 Hungry Pests, an online tracker where federal quarantines are located and phone numbers to report signs of an invasive pest.


The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is a multifaceted federal agency with a broad mission area that includes protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, regulating genetically engineered organisms, administering the Animal Welfare Act and carrying out wildlife damage management activities. These efforts support the overall mission of USDA, which is to protect and promote food, agriculture, natural resources and related issues. To learn more about APHIS, visit www.aphis.usda.gov.

Contact: Renee Tilton, [email protected], 410-626-0805;
Gillian Pommerehn, [email protected], 410-626-0805;


Hungry Pests Logo


Video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iZda5T-ICg&feature=youtu.be
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140410/PH03084 


More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"We started a Master of Science in business analytics - that's the hot topic. We serve the business community around San Francisco so we educate the working professionals and this is where they all want to be," explained Judy Lee, Associate Professor and Department Chair at Golden Gate University, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Dez Blanchfield joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Dez is a strategic leader in business and digital transformation with 25 years of experience in the IT and telecommunications industries developing strategies and implementing business initiatives. He has a breadth of expertise spanning technologies such as cloud computing, big data and analytics, cognitive computing, m...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Kevin Jackson joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized cloud computing expert and Founder/Author of the award winning "Cloud Musings" blog. Mr. Jackson has also been recognized as a "Top 100 Cybersecurity Influencer and Brand" by Onalytica (2015), a Huffington Post "Top 100 Cloud Computing Experts on Twitter" (2013) and a "Top 50 C...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Daniel Jones is CTO of EngineerBetter, helping enterprises deliver value faster. Previously he was an IT consultant, indie video games developer, head of web development in the finance sector, and an award-winning martial artist. Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was jo...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.