KEEPING INVASIVE SPECIES OUT OF MINNESOTA is the focus of the Pest Detection and Response Unit in the Plant Protection Division. Our staff are among the nation's experts in knowing what pests are threatening our state, the most effective survey methods to detect new pest populations early, and how to effectively respond when a new pest is detected.
The definition of invasive species has two parts. First, they are organisms not originally from Minnesota. Second, they can harm the economy, environment, or humans.
In the U.S., over 135 billion dollars are spent each year on invasive species. They are the second most important factor affecting biodiversity. They also affect international trade. Other countries do not want our pests and we do not want theirs.
We are Minnesota's first line of defense. Our mission is to prevent new pests from arriving and establishing (Minnesota Statutes Chapter 18G and Chapter 18J). Our focus is on pests that could cause harm to terrestrial plants. Our efforts include: Prevention, Early Detection (such as pathways survey), and Rapid Response. We follow a national strategy for invasive species management (PDF). Pests already established in Minnesota and aquatic pests are addressed by other cooperating groups.
New plant pest: a non-native plant pest absent from Minnesota but threatening to enter, whose introduction and establishment causes, or may cause, economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. These pests are MDA's primary responsibility. Example: Asian longhorned beetle.
Emerging plant pest: a non-native plant pest already present in Minnesota but not widely distributed, whose introduction and establishment causes, or may cause, economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. These pests are also MDA's primary responsibility. Example: gypsy moth.
Established plant pest: a plant pest that, after entry into an area, will perpetuate for the foreseeable future. Criteria to determine if a plant pest is emerging or has already become established include but are not limited to the pest population's survival potential, rate of reproduction, means of dispersal and host plant availability, and the area's size, degree of isolation, ecological conditions, and homogeneity. DNR is usually a good resource for information on these pests, as they deal with them on a day-to-day basis on state lands. Example: Soybean aphid
"Arrest the Pest" Hotline
651-201-6684 - Metro Area
1-888-545-6684 - Greater Minnesota
Invasive Species Exclusion Unit
Plant Protection Division
Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), 625 Robert Street N, St. Paul, MN 55155-2538, email@example.com