If you’re traveling, whether you’re driving across several states or flying around the world, you could be transporting invasive species without even knowing it. If you’re moving from the East Coast to the West Coast, your vehicle or luggage could be carrying gypsy moths. If you’re on vacation and hauling your boat back from a lake in a sunnier part of the country, it could be infested with zebra or quagga mussels.

What Can I Do?

Avoid purchasing or carrying invasive species while traveling. To avoid introducing species such as kudzu, gypsy mothsMediterranean white snailnorthern snakehead, water chestnut, or zebra or quagga mussels, you can take the following steps:

  • Never carry fruit, seeds, live plants, berries, soil, insects, snails, lizards, snakes, or other animals into or out of the United States, or from one part of the country to another.
  • Declare any plants or animals carried at border crossings. You will be subject to inspection when passing through customs.
  • Don’t transport items such as hay, wood, soil, sod, or gravel from one part of the country to another.
  • Abide by local and international quarantines.
  • Remember to clean your boat if you’re moving from one water body to another, especially if you use your boat in another state.
  • Take care not to buy plants that are quarantined or prohibited in Washington, meaning that their sale or trade is illegal. Internet sites may be based in other states without the same restrictions.