About The Program

The Don’t Pack A Pest Program is a joint national effort started by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The goal of this program is to educate international travelers about the risks associated with carrying luggage or packages with certain types of food, plants or other agricultural items, that could contain invasive pests that could threaten the agriculture industry.

The Texas Department of Agriculture joined the program in 2018. With over 1,200 miles of international border with Mexico, 26 active commercial airports, 16 seaports, and 12 border-posts serving passengers and trade activities, Texas is at high risk for invasive pests coming into the state. Passenger baggage is one of the largest pathways for pest and disease introduction and Texas has over 1.6 million vacation cruise passengers a year.

Accordingly, the Texas Don’t Pack a Pest program reminds international travelers to alert port inspectors of any packed fruits, vegetables, meats, and hand crafted items when entering a Texas or U.S. port of entry. The message is simple, “Stop Invasive Pests. Declare Agricultural Items When Traveling.”

Declaring Agricultural Items


Prohibited agricultural items brought into the United States from foreign countries are restricted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) because they can harbor plant pests and foreign animal diseases that could threaten American crops, livestock, and consequently our economy.

If you are a traveler entering the United States, you are REQUIRED to DECLARE fruits, vegetables, meats, plants, seeds, soil, animals, as well as plant and animal products you might be carrying. The declaration includes all items in checked baggage, carry-on luggage, or in a vehicle.

Upon examination of plants, animal products, and associated items, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at the ports of entry will determine if these items meet the entry requirements of the United States. You should also indicate if you have been on a farm or in close proximity of livestock, as your shoes or luggage may carry traces of soil that could bring in foreign animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease.


Texas currently has 29 official U.S. ports of entry. This is more than any other state. While each of these ports serve as a vital gateway for goods and travelers, they each also represent an opportunity for invasive pests or diseases to enter the Lone Star State.

View Texas Ports of Entry


Whether you are a visitor to the United States or a U.S. citizen arriving in the United States, you must complete one or more entry forms.

You must complete the CBP Declaration Form 6059B. CBP Declaration Form 6059B provides us with basic information about who you are and what you are bringing into the United States, such as agricultural and wildlife products, and whether or not you have visited a farm prior to traveling to the United States. If you are traveling with other immediate family members, then you only need to complete one form for your entire family.

Here is a sample of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Declaration Form 6059B.

For more information visit the CBP Traveler Entry Forms page.

Top 10 Most Unwanted List

This lineup of pests are the biggest threats to our agriculture

Citrus Leprosis Citrus Leprosis

1Citrus Leprosis

Citrus Leprosis (CiLV) is an economically important viral disease that can damage citrus crops. Symptoms include small, brown spots— commonly referred to as nail-head rust—that appear on fruit, leaves, and twigs of affected trees. This emerging disease is widely distributed in South and Central America, from Argentina to Mexico but not yet present in the U.S. It is transmitted by Brevipalpus mites. Mites can become airborne and can be carried with citrus fruits, plant parts, and with passenger luggage or cargo from the infested citrus growing areas.

More about Citrus Leprosis

2Mexican Fruit Fly

The Mexican Fruit Fly (Anastrepha ludens) is a serious pest to various fruits, particularly citrus and mango. The Mexican Fruit Fly was first found in Central Mexico in 1863, and by the early 1950s flies were found along the California-Mexico border. Many commercially grown crops, including avocado, grapefruit, orange, peach, and pear would be threatened if the Mexican Fruit Fly becomes established. The sources of threat are fresh produce, fruit and vegetables brought into the U.S. or across state borders without inspection.

Each year, the pest enters the Lower Rio Grande Valley’s 27,000 acres of commercial citrus crops from south of the border and attacks more than 40 different kinds of fruits. Damage occurs when the female fly lays eggs in the fruit, which then hatch into larvae, making the fruit unmarketable.

Currently, the Texas Department of Agriculture maintains an active quarantine for the Mexican Fruit Fly and is engaged in its eradication with our USDA partners.

More about the Mexican Fruit Fly
Mexican Fruit Fly Mexican fruit flies on orange
Mediterrranean Fruit Fly Mediterranean fruit fly maggots in orange

3Mediterrranean Fruit Fly

The Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Ceratitis capitata or Medfly) is considered the most important agricultural pest in the world. The Medfly has spread throughout the Mediterranean region, southern Europe, the Middle East, western Australia, South and Central America and Hawaii. It has been recorded infesting a wide range of commercial and garden fruits, nuts and vegetables, including apple, avocado, bell pepper, citrus, melon, peach, plum, and tomato.

More about the Mediterrranean Fruit Fly

4Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis or EAB) is responsible for the destruction of tens of millions of ash trees in 30 U.S. States. Native to Asia, it likely arrived in the United States hidden in wood packing materials. The first U.S. identification of Emerald Ash Borer was in southeastern Michigan in 2002. The sources of threat are firewood, ash wood products, ash wood packing material, infested nursery ash plants, ash wood debris and trimmings, including chips. These materials can spread the infestation even if no beetles are visible.

Texas is particularly at risk because species of ash (Fraxinus spp.), including many native to Texas, are vulnerable. In many Texas cities, ash is an important ornamental tree in landscapes and along streets.

More about the Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald Ash Borer Emerald Ash Borer
Asian Citrus Psyllid Asian Citrus Psyllid

5Asian Citrus Psyllid (HLB or Citrus Greening)

The Asian Citrus Psyllid (Diaphorina citri kuwayama or ACP) causes serious damage to citrus plants and citrus plant relatives. Burned tips and twisted leaves result from an infestation on new growth. Psyllids are also carriers of the bacterium that causes Huanglongbing (HLB) disease, also known as citrus greening disease, spreading the disease to healthy citrus plants. Citrus greening is one of the most serious citrus plant diseases in the world. Once a tree is infected, there is no cure.

More about the Asian Citrus Psyllid

6Cotton Boll Weevil

The Cotton Boll Weevil (Anthonomus grandis) is a beetle native to Mexico and Central America. It was first introduced into the United States near Brownsville, Texas, in about 1892. By 1922, the pest had spread into cotton growing areas of the United States from the eastern two-thirds of Texas and Oklahoma to the Atlantic Ocean. Boll weevils feed on and reproduce in cotton. Both the feeding and reproduction processes damage bolls on the cotton plant ultimately reducing quality and the amount of cotton lint available for harvest. The Boll Weevil has cost the cotton industry $23 billion in economic losses since it moved into the United States from Mexico.

As the number one cotton producer in the United States, Texas is active in the fight against this invasive pest. The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), in collaboration with the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation (TBWEF) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), assists cotton farmers in increasing efficiencies, eliminating duplication of efforts and streamlining the process of cotton stalk destruction — all of which work to eradicate Boll Weevils from Texas’ cotton crop. Prior to the eradication efforts, Boll Weevils caused an estimated $200 million in losses per year to Texas farmers.

Parts of Texas bordering with Mexico continue to battle the Boll Weevil, where the effects of border violence and funding hardships for Mexico’s eradication programs create challenges in the much-needed progress towards eradication. The continued collaborative efforts of industry leaders, farmers, TBWEF, USDA and TDA are key to future successes in these areas.

More about the Cotton Boll Weevil
Cotton Boll Weevil Cotton boll weevil larva in boll
Asian Long Horned Beetle ALB damage

7Asian Long Horned Beetle

The Asian Long-horned Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis, or ALB) is a threat to American hardwood trees. With no current cure, early identification and eradication are critical to its control. It threatens recreation and forest resources valued at billions of dollars. The ALB has the potential to cause more damage than Dutch elm disease, chestnut blight, and gypsy moths combined, destroying millions of acres of America's treasured hardwoods, including national forests and backyard trees. The sources of threat are eggs, larvae, and hitchhiking adults in firewood, solid wood packing material, wood debris and trimmings, branches, logs, stumps, and lumber even if no beetles are visible.

More about the Asian Long Horned Beetle

8Khapra Beetle

The Khapra Beetle (Trogoderma granarium) is one of the world’s most destructive pests of stored grain products and seeds. Its feeding damage often spoils 30-27 percent of the product. Established infestations are difficult to control because the beetle can survive without food for long periods, requires little moisture, hides in tiny cracks and crevices, and is relatively resistant to many insecticides and fumigants.

More about the Khapra Beetle
Khapra Beetle Khapra Beetle
Asian Gypsy Moth Asian Gypsy Moth

9Asian Gypsy Moth

Asian Gypsy Moths (AGM, Lymantria dispar asiatica, Lymantria dispar japonica, Lymantria albescens, Lymantria umbrosa, and Lymantria postalba) are exotic pests not known to occur in the United States. If they would become established here, they could cause serious, widespread damage to our country’s landscape and natural resources. Each female moth can lay hundreds of eggs that, in turn, yield hundreds of voracious caterpillars that may feed on more than 500 tree and shrub species. Large AGM infestations can completely defoliate trees. Repeated defoliation can lead to the death of large sections of forests, orchards, and landscaping. AGM females fly long distances can quickly spread throughout the United States.

More about the Asian Gypsy Moth

10Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle

The Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros) was first detected in Hawaii in December 2013. This invasive pest is native to southeast Asia. It attacks coconut palms by boring into the crowns or tops of the tree where it damages growing tissue and feeds on tree sap. The damage can significantly reduce coconut production and kill the tree. The beetle is also known to feed on economically important commercial crops such as bananas, sugarcane, papayas, sisal, pineapples, and date palms. The sources of threat are movement of infested compost, mulch, and green waste, bringing infested plants into the United States in passenger baggage, and beetle hitchhiking in international cargo.

More about the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle
Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Coconut rhynocerus beetle damage

Bad Pests Runners-up

Pecan Weevil Pecan weevil grub in a nut

11Pecan Weevil

The Pecan Weevil (Curculio caryae) is a dangerous nut pest of the pecan found throughout the southern United States and portions of Texas. The adult is a brownish weevil, about 3/8 inch long. The female’s snout is as long as its body; while the male’s snout is somewhat shorter. The larvae are cream colored grubs with reddish heads. When fully grown, larvae reach a length of 3/5 inch. Pecan weevil infestations reduce nut yield at two points in the growing season. In the summer, adult weevils puncture and feed on immature nuts, causing the nuts to abort. Later in the growing season, mated females chew a hole in the pecan shell and deposit eggs inside. Larvae consume the developing kernel, rendering it unfit for human consumption. Sources of infestation include moving untreated pecan nuts in the baggage or in cargo from the infested area.

More about the Pecan Weevil

12Old World Bollworm

The Old World Bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) is known to attack more than 180 plant species and can cause damage to crops such as corn, cotton, small grains, soybeans, peppers, tomatoes, and beans. Damage occurs when the larvae feed on the leaves of host plants and bore into the flowers and fruit and feed within the plant. The threat is from moving, mailing or bringing infested fruits, vegetables, or plants into the United States in passenger baggage and moths or larvae hitchhiking in international cargo.

More about the Old World Bollworm
Old World Bollworm Old World Bollworm

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