April is Invasive Plant, Pest and Disease Awareness Month

newspaperApril is national Invasive Plant, Pest and Disease Awareness Month and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) urges residents to help reduce the threat that invasive plants and pests pose to the Commonwealth’s agricultural and natural resources.

While the term “invasive plants, pests and diseases” may not be familiar to every Virginian, the effects of invasive species in our state should be of concern to all of us. Once invasive pests become established, they can grow and spread rapidly, often because they have no natural predators in their new environment. Invasive species such as the Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer, gypsy moth and imported fire ant wreak havoc on the environment, displacing or destroying native plants and insects, severely damaging crops and causing the closure of foreign markets to those U.S. products that originated in infested areas. Invasive pests cost landowners, industry and the U.S. government millions of dollars to control, so taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations.

Virginians can help reduce the spread of invasive pests and plants into the Commonwealth by following these simple steps:

  • Don’t move firewood over long distances as it can be a carrier of invasive insects and diseases. Use only firewood that originates from the area where it will be burned. Gypsy moth egg cases and emerald ash borer larvae can hitch a ride with the firewood and start infestations in new areas.
  • Before leaving a work or recreational site, look for and remove any insects or seeds and other plant parts that might be attached to your equipment, boots, gear, truck bed and tires to make sure you are not spreading invasive pests to a new location.
  • Consult with your local nursery or master gardener to help you select plants that are not invasive for your landscaping and gardening projects.
  • Buy local. A wide variety of beautiful native plants that thrive in your local environment are available at local nurseries and garden centers.
  • Don’t plant seeds of invasive plants in wildlife food plots.
  • Always declare any plant material brought into the country when returning from a trip abroad.

If you suspect you have an invasive pest in your area, contact VDACS’ Office of Plant and Industry Services at 804.786.3515, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) at 804.226.5262 oryour local Virginia Cooperative Extension Service agent at ext.vt.edu/offices/index.html.

More information on invasive plants, pests and diseases can be found on USDA’s Hungry Pests website at hungrypests.com.



augusta free press
augusta free press news

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

AFP Business

As professional consultants, Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including website design, SEO, TV/radio, video work, branding and logos, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation. Augusta Free Press LLC was founded in 2002.

Web Design

Augusta Free Press has designed more than 800 websites for clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design, content development and SEO. Short on staff? We’ll work with you to update your AFP-designed website in a timely manner or train your staff to make changes.

Marketing/Social Media Management

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Graphic Design

Augusta Free Press will help you take your vision to the next level. From branding and logos to print materials, our team will work with you to develop products to showcase your business. From brochures and rack cards to full-color magazines or print/digital ads, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planning/Fundraising

Augusta Free Press will help you plan the best event for your organization. From an open house or anniversary to a 5K or Pay Per View, we can handle it all. Looking for training for your sales staff? We can help energize your employees or board. Need ideas to raise more money? Let us help you plan a successful event. Want to hold a news conference or need help with a press release? We can do that too.

Click here for more.