Plant Pest

The Missouri Department of Agriculture's Plant Industries Division works to prevent the spread of harmful insects and plant diseases through the Plant Pest Control Bureau.

Nursery and Greenhouse Certification

The Missouri Plant Law (RSMO 263.010 – 263.180) provides the authority for certification of nursery growers and dealers in the state of Missouri. This certification process not only works to provide nursery stock free of harmful plant pests, but also facilitates the interstate movement of nursery stock. Annual inspections are conducted at nursery growers to identify and mitigate the presence of harmful plants pests. More information about nursery and greenhouse certification may be found here.

For further information contact the Plant Pest Control Program.

Export Certification

Millions of dollars worth of plant products are exported each year from Missouri to foreign countries. Many countries require a phytosanitary certificate to accompany shipments of raw or unprocessed plant products being imported. A phytosanitary certificate is a certificate of health certifying that the product in the shipment meets the importing country’s criteria. These criteria are established by the importing country as a means of preventing the introduction or spread of harmful pest organisms. The requirements vary from country to country and may be different for each commodity shipped.

Missouri state and federal agricultural officials issue nearly nearly 3,000 of these certificates annually for a wide range of plant-based commodities all over the state. Certified products include various grains and seeds, such as corn, soybeans, popcorn and rice, cotton bales, oak lumber, barrel staves and nursery stock. Certified products are typically exported to over 40 different countries.

For further information contact the Plant Pest Control Program.

Pest Survey

The Plant Pest Control Bureau conducts survey work for exotic/invasive pests each year. Annual surveys are conducted for gypsy moth and thousand cankers disease of walnut in partnership with other state and federal agencies to help prevent the introduction and establishment of these destructive pests in Missouri. The Bureau also maintains the Cooperative Ag Pest Survey (CAPS) program, which is a partnership with USDA APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine, to survey Missouri for harmful exotic plant pests. Previous CAPS exotic/invasive pest surveys have included karnal bunt of wheat, plum pox virus, emerald ash borer, grape/vineyard pests, field crops and bark beetle/forest pests. The goals of these surveys are 1) provide early detection services which would make eradication or management of the pests more likely and 2) keep export markets open by showing freedom from pests that are a concern to other states and countries.

Apiary (Bee) Certification

The Missouri Apiculture Law (RSMO 264.011 - 264.101) provides the authority for the Missouri Department of Agriculture to regulate the beekeeping industry to prevent the spread of harmful honeybee pests and diseases. Pests and diseases of concern include honeybee tracheal mite (Acarapis woodi), varroa mite (Varroa jacobsoni), Africanized honeybee (Apis mellifera scutellata), American foulbrood, European foulbrood, or any other pest or infectious disease detrimental to honeybees.

Anyone desiring to move bees or used beekeeping equipment into the state, must contact the State Entomologist to obtain an application for the necessary permit. Permits must also be accompanied by a certificate of health, issued by the authorized official in the state from which the bees are being moved.

There is a state beekeeping association and several local beekeeping associations in the state. These are open to anyone with an interest in beekeeping and provide information, education and assistance with beekeeping problems. For further information contact the Plant Pest Control Program.