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Traveling for the Holidays? Don't Pack a Pest!

‘Tis the season for lots of holiday traveling and opportunities for plant and animal pests to hitch a ride on the things you bring with you.

If you’ve traveled internationally, you are probably familiar with the Customs process, filling out a Declaration form and talking to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official. They want to find out what you’re packing from your travels that could–intentionally or unintentionally–be bringing pests. What exactly are they looking for and what’s the real risk?

 
One example of the risk - only a couple millimeters in length and much smaller than your common house fly, certain fruit flies’ eggs and larvae can easily hide unseen inside fruits and vegetables.

One example of the risk - only a couple millimeters in length and much smaller than your common house fly, certain fruit flies’ eggs and larvae can easily hide unseen inside fruits and vegetables.

 

Working with the federal-state cooperative educational program “Don’t Pack a Pest”, Samara Group was contracted to develop materials to educate travelers about the risks associated with carrying certain types of food, plants, or other agricultural items in passenger baggage.

A key product from this work was a brochure, known as the Travelers Guidelines. Our design solutions were informed by an evolving program brand that is used by various state and federal agencies. We stepped into the role to implement new design solutions based on a survey of hundreds of University students conducted by Oregon Sea Grant in 2017.

 
The brochure has a reach of more than 8,000 copies distributed to travelers around the country.

The brochure has a reach of more than 8,000 copies distributed to travelers around the country.

 
 
The goal of this brochure is to communicate concepts that are not always explicit such as: What does it mean to declare? Why are the agricultural items in my suitcase a risk to the country that I’m traveling to?

The goal of this brochure is to communicate concepts that are not always explicit such as: What does it mean to declare? Why are the agricultural items in my suitcase a risk to the country that I’m traveling to?

 

Next time you travel, Remember: Don’t Pack a Pest and Always Declare all Food, Plants, and Agricultural Items.  

 
Use the U.S. Customs Declaration Form to declare all food, plant, and agricultural items.

Use the U.S. Customs Declaration Form to declare all food, plant, and agricultural items.

 

Visit www.oregoninvasivespeciescouncil.org/dont-pack-a-pest to view the guidelines online.

Safe and happy travels!

Samara Group