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Re: Tropica Plants in the U.S.

To understand why the US is so reluctant to let potted plants into the
country, you need only think about the fire-ant problem in the Southeast.
Black fire ants arrived in Louisiana in the soil of potted Amazon plants.
They took over the area, emost other ant species, and killing small animals
that happened across their ant hills.

Then, a few years later, red fire ants arrived somewhere in the south.  They
eliminated ALL competing indiginous ants, and also the black fire ants.  They
take over entire pastures, killing off the cattle, and even a few people have
been killed by them.  I was stung severely while working on my car and was
hospitalized.  THey are spreading, and no real effective means of control has
been found.  In their nattive environs, the annual floods reduce their numbers
effectively and keep them under control.  Unless someone gets instructions to
build an ark, we are probably stuck with them here in the US.

California seems to be invaded by European fruitflies of one kind or another
every couple of years.  Eradication is costly.  Non-eradication would be even
worse.  The Federal gov't wants to keep invasive insect pests to a minimum.
It is very easy to look at a bare-rooted plant and see that there is or is not
anything hiding on it.  It is impossible to look at a pot of dirt and be sure
that there are no grubs or other larvae hiding in there.  When it comes to
bugs, it only takes two to make a million.

Bob Dixon