National Plant Board

Plant Quarantine, Nursery Inspection, and Certification Guidelines

Appendix H

Principles of Plant Pest Control

1. Definition – Plant pest control means (in this instrument) the employment of a publicly supported program to eradicate, retard the spread of, or to reduce the level of loss resultant from a plant pest.

a. Eradication means the complete removal of a plant pest from a given area.

b. Plant pest means a living organism which damages, or is capable of damaging, desirable vegetation and may include insects, mites, other invertebrate and vertebrate animals, viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other plants not to exclude seed plants. (An organism not commonly considered a pest may, under certain conditions become damaging, and may then be designated a pest by appropriate authority.)

2. Basis in Logic – Since the measures required to implement a pest control program usually involve treatment of private and public property for the benefit of wider interests or the public welfare, they could not be undertaken by private individuals or groups, and therefore to resort to procedures under public authority is logical.

3. Necessity – The necessity for a publicly supported program for control of a plant pest rests on the following fundamental prerequisites:

a. The pest concerned must be of such nature as to seriously threaten substantial interests.

b. The benefits expected must outweigh the cost of the control program.

c. The program must offer promise of being both biologically and technically feasible.

d. In calculating the cost-benefit relationship of a program, significant adverse effects on nontarget organisms or on the environment will be included in the evaluation.

e. If the pest under consideration is of less than general distribution, control and eradication efforts should be supported by appropriate quarantines, unless the pest is deemed not to be susceptible to quarantine management.

f. Any pest control program shall be supported by an active research program except in emergency instances in which case a research program must be established without delay.

4. Analytical Evaluation – A pest control program shall be subjected to continuous study and reevaluation in the light of current research and of other information acquired during the program’s operations. In a control program, whenever such reevaluation indicates the feasibility of eradication of the pest species, immediate attention should be given to the redirection of such a program toward the goal of eradication.

5. Public Cooperation – In any control program, the active cooperation of the general public must be sought and maintained.

6. Cooperative Management – The cooperating agencies shall be equal partners in any pest control program and no unilateral action on the part of any one of the partners, which would materially affect the program, should be taken without prior consultations with the other partners in the cooperative endeavor.

7. Termination – Whenever the study and reevaluations, called for above, indicate that the ends of the program cannot be met or that the anticipated cost-benefit equation has shifted materially so that the expected benefits no longer outweigh the cost, the program should be promptly terminated.

Adopted by the National Plant Board

August 1972

Miami, Florida