The USDA’s Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) has been utilizing the acutely sensitive nose of dogs into high-tech plant health safeguarding tools. Dogs have been utilized by humans for thousands of years and now detector canines are being trained to sniff out specific pests and diseases, like giant African snail, coconut rhinoceros beetle, and Mexican fruit fly (MXFF) larvae.
“These dogs act like force multipliers, capable of conducting certain non-intrusive inspections more rapidly and efficiently than humans. That’s why detector canines are one of PPQ’s strategic initiatives for 2021.”
The USDA PPQ dogs have been a key instrument in combatting the giant African snail in far southeastern Florida. They both identify areas as free of the snail or alert surveyors to infested areas where efforts should be focused.
Read more on this exciting venture: Plant Protection Today – PPQ Expands Its Detector Dog Team