TRAVELERS, we love having you in Colorado, yet we need your assistance. Please do your BIG YET EASY part to keep pests in their home territory!
We want everyone to be able to come back for more fabulous Colorado wines, mouthwatering Palisade peaches, sweet and tart cherries, scrumptious apples, pears, apricots, nectarines and plums (did we miss anything?)!
The information below was supplied to us by the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board. Let’s each do our own huge but simple part to keep Colorado’s soil awesome for future harvests of Colorado’s fruits! It takes only a few minutes on everyone’s part.
Invasive pest species, including bugs, seeds, and mollusks, often like to hitch a ride on RVs, boats and trailers, or other recreation and camping equipment. Invaders such as zebra mussels, the Japanese beetle, or the brown marmorated stink bug, can pose a real threat to the often pastoral landscapes and rural economies that tourists enjoy.
Another nasty hitchhiker is the spotted lanternfly (SLF), which The U.S. Department of Agriculture has called it “the worst invasive species in 150 years.” This particular bug, currently found in Pennsylvania and adjacent states, poses a potential threat to grapevines, hops, peaches, apples, and ornamental trees—all enjoyed by visitors to Colorado, whether as a scenic backdrop for a camping site or in a glass of local wine or beer.
These are NOT good traveling companions. Leave them at home or wherever you find them!
Whenever you can, please take a few minutes to inspect your vehicle and outdoor equipment for signs of these species, their eggs, or other unwelcome hitchhikers. Pressure wash your undercarriage or recreation equipment and scrape off and squish any insect hitchhikers and their eggs.
Inspect your vehicle thoroughly before you leave home, to respect Colorado’s farmers and forests. And do it again before you return home, to be sure that you aren’t taking anyone home you don’t want living in your state.
For more resources, visit pesttracker.org, a comprehensive information source on invasive species across the country created by a partnership between the USDA, U.S. Forest Service, the National Plant Board, and the Bugwood Network.
Find out what pests from your home base region can be a threat elsewhere, and what pests from Colorado or any other travel destination you plan to visit can pose a threat back home. Contact your state’s department of agriculture or your local extension offices.
If you have questions about any pest, best practices for removing pests, or want to report a sighting, contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture Cooperative Ag Pest Survey Program: 888.248.5535 OR 303.869.9081 or email ag.colorado.gov/plants/pest-survey.
We appreciate the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board for providing this insightful information!