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Early Warning

'' Protection through Detection ''

The Early Warning System (EWS) supports governments and industry specific stakeholders goal across Africa of safeguarding agricultural resources by ensuring that new introductions of harmful invasive pests are detected as soon as possible, before they have a chance to cause significant damage.

This website provides a portal to information and maps on identifying, recording, trend analysis and the Early Warning System on Africa’s invasive species.

Preventing the introduction of invasive species is the first line of defense against invasions. However, even the best prevention efforts will not stop all invasive species introductions. Our Early Warning Detection efforts increase the likelihood that invasions will be noticed successfully while populations are still localized and population levels are not beyond that which can be contained and eradicated. Once populations are widely established, all that might be possible is the partial mitigation of negative impacts.

In addition, the costs associated with large area eradication and control efforts are typically far more than those of long-term invasive species early warning and detection systems.

The Threat

Based on the requirements from Agricultural industries and Governments the following economically important invasive species are being monitored:
• Name: Peach Fruit Fly | Scientific Name: Bactrocera zonata (Saunders)
• Name: Asian Fruit Fly | Scientific Name: Bactrocera dorsalis
• Name: Tomato Leaf Miner | Scientific Name: Tuta absoluta
• Name: Sugarcane Stem Borer | Scientific Name: Chilo sacchariphagus


Peach Fruit Fly

Bactrocera Zonata
Bactrocera zonata (Saunders)

Asian Fruit Fly

Bactrocera invadens - Asian
Bactrocera dorsalis

Tomato Leaf Miner

tomato leaf miner moth2
Tuta absoluta

Sugarcane Stem Borer

Chilo sacchariphagus

Support for Early Warning efforts by a wide-range of stakeholders is essential.

The understanding and participation of stakeholders must be facilitated by working with professional societies and scientific organizations, agricultural organizations, conservation and outdoor recreation organizations, community groups, and others.

We are always looking for long term partnerships and sponsors in order for us to provide this much needed service to the Agricultural sector.

~ FAQ~

Frequent Asked Questions

What is an Invasive Pest?

An invasive pest is an organism that is introduced into an area beyond its natural range and becomes a pest in the new environment. They are also referred to as alien, non-native or invasive pests. An invasive pest does not occur naturally in a specific area and therefore may not have any natural enemies. The introduction of invasive pests may cause economic (including agricultural) or environmental harm, or harm to human health.

How Do Invasive Pests Spread?

There are a few ways pests enter into Africa and cross border lines:
• On commercial shipments of plants, food and other materials
• By “hitch-hiking” on vehicles, fruits, plants, seeds or animals when traveling through or into Africa
• When travellers bring prohibited fruits, plants, seeds, animals and other items back from other countries

What Damage Can Invasive Pests Cause?

Invasive pests are considered the second greatest threat to biological diversity after habitat loss. If allowed to enter and become established in an area or country, these pests and the diseases brought with them increase pesticide use and cause damage to native species of plants and animals thus greatly impact the agricultural and economic sectors

What are the Top Invasive Pest Threats in Africa?

The invasive pests that are currently being monitored as the most damaging in Africa are the Peach Fruit Fly, the Oriental Fruit Fly, the Tomato Leaf Miner and the Sugarcane Stem Borer

I Don't Work in Agriculture – Why Should I Care?

The risks from invasive pests stretch well beyond agriculture and affect everyone. When exotic insect pests are excluded from the local ecosystems, we all benefit in the form of lower food costs, increased recreational value of public and private lands and protection of urban and rural landscapes.

What Can I Do to Stop Invasive Pests from Entering my country?

If you are traveling to another country, one of the most important things you can do is not bring back any fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, plants or other natural items unless they have been cleared by the appropriate officials. Cooperating with customs officials and others who are watching for invasive pests is the best way to help keep the unwanted pests from crossing borders.

What can you do?


Africa’s farm fields and pasture lands are the final battle line in the fight against invasive pests. The stakes are high and the responsibility to know the right things to do to help take care of all the great natural and agricultural resources that we have are enormous. Please do your part.
• Learn to identify the invasive species in your area.
• Report any sightings to The sooner invasive species are detected, the easier and cheaper it is to control them.
• Ensure all staff clean their boots, gear, truck bed, tires and harvesting equipment after working a site to make sure you are not spreading seeds, insects or spores to a new location.

Outdoor enthusiasts

Hikers, bikers, campers and outdoor enthusiasts share a special responsibility. When you get close to nature, it also means that nature can also get close to us. In fact, something unwanted may try to hitch a ride home.
• Report any invasive pest sightings to
• Don’t move firewood. Buy or use firewood that is close to your campsite.

Report an Invasive Species sighting

If you think you have seen an invasive pest, reporting it is the first critical step toward detection and rapid response. Often, invasive species are initially discovered by citizens who are out on the land and water.
o Report all sightings to the Invading Species Hotline +27 82 825 3500 or


Contact us today and we will connect you with volunteer opportunities in your area.

Submit Artwork or Photos

Help us raise awareness about invasive pests by donating your invasive pest images for use on our website and media materials.


When it comes to preventing the spread of invasive pests, every one of us can play a big role. By doing the right things we can all help stop this threat to so much that we value. Please do your part and learn what you can do to leave Hungry Pests behind.

These damaging pests can hitchhike from place to place on our cars and trucks, hidden in fruit, vegetables, plants, firewood or on familiar outdoor items. But we can all learn to be more careful when we’re traveling or involved in outdoor activities. Working together, we can protect our crops and trees from harm.

Preventing the introduction and establishment of invasive species in a new area is everyone’s responsibility