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 RVers, 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. Visit this site for more information.
Inspect your vehicle thoroughly before you leave home, to respect local 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.
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.
Thank you to the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board for sending us this very important information.
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