Pest Exclusion/Produce Quality Frequently Asked Questions

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Pest Exclusion/Produce Quality Frequently Asked Questions


How do I transport privately-owned house plants into CA from other states?

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How can I become a licensed nursery?

A license to sell nursery stock must be obtained from the Secretary of Food and Agriculture before any sales are made. Our department can provide the application and regulations for "California's License to Sell Nursery Stock." Please complete the license application and send it with the appropriate fees to: CASHIER California Department of Food and Agriculture 1220 N Street Sacramento, CA 95814


How can I sell at a Certified Farmers' Market?

Anyone growing fruits or vegetables in Los Angeles County qualifies to become a Certified Producer and participate in a Certified Farmers' Market. Becoming a Certified Producer is easy. Contact our office at 562-622-0426 to set up an appointment for inspection. An inspector will inspect your growing grounds to verify the agricultural products which are being grown. The inspector will need to know the commodity and variety being grown, quantity being grown, harvest and season, and the estimated production yield. In addition, you will be asked which counties you wish to sell in and how many embossed copies you need. The cost to become a Certified Producer is $63. Following the inspection, an embossed certificate will be mailed to your residence. This certificate must be prominently displayed at all times when selling at a Certified Farmers' Market.


How do I become a Wholesale Produce Dealer?

All those who intend to operate in Los Angeles County as a wholesale produce dealer must register with our department. To register, submit an annual registration fee of $250.00 and complete the Wholesale Produce Dealer Registration application. 

La aplicacion de venta de productos al mayoreo esta disponible en espanol. Return you application and fee to: Agricultural Commissioner/Weights & Measures Dept Pest Exclusion & Produce Quality Bureau 11012 S. Garfield Ave. South Gate, CA 90280.


I'm moving out of state. Can I take my houseplants with me?

Prior to moving out of state, contact the local Agricultural Commissioner's Office at both origin and destination to determine any certification requirements for transporting houseplants. Many states have regulations regarding specific plants (citrus plants, pine trees, fruit and nut trees, etc.) regardless of whether they are grown indoors or outdoors. Most states allow the entry of privately owned houseplants that have been grown and maintained year round in an indoor setting only. They must be planted in sterile, packaged, commercial potting mix instead of soil taken from outdoor sources (no backyard soil!). Houseplants must be healthy, show no visible signs of disease and be free of surface pests. Privately owned plants maintained outdoors in pots or containers should be certified for origin, pest-free status and any quarantine requirements of the destination state. Outdoor potted plants must also be planted in sterile, packaged, commercial potting mix (no backyard or outdoor soil!). Contact the local Agricultural Commissioner's Office at both origin and destination for assistance. Whether transported in a private vehicle or a commercial moving van, houseplants must be declared to border inspectors and be readily accessible for inspection. Be advised that plants can be rejected or confiscated if they show signs of any disease or insect problem.


What are the risks of finding target pests and introduction of new pests?

Los Angeles is particularly vulnerable to invasion by destructive exotic pests because we have the sixth busiest port in the world. Los Angeles could easily serve as the gateway to the entire nation for devastating plant pests and disease vectors. Such an outcome could cost billions of dollars in pest eradication efforts and threaten our nation's economy and domestic food supply. Exotic insects like the red imported fire ant, Diaprepes root weevil, and diseases like sudden oak disease pose a significant threat in urban areas such as open spaces, parks, golf courses, and landscape gardens while also threatening our native forests, flora, and fauna.


What do I need to do to start a Certified Farmers' Market?

Certified Farmers' Markets (CFMs) have been found to be a benefit to small farmers and the community alike. Anyone who wishes to start a CFM must be: a. Farmer b. Non-profit organization c. Local government agency. The application must be submitted with the appropriate annual fee, which can be found in the fee schedule below. Along with the application, a map of the market layout and individual market rules must be submitted to: Agricultural Commissioner/Weights & Measures Dept., Pest Exclusion & Produce Quality Bureau, 11012 S. Garfield Ave. South Gate, CA 90280. Fee Schedule: 15 or less stalls - $408; Over 15 stalls - additional $16 per stall over 15. Applications may be mailed or faxed to you by calling 562-622-0426.


What is a Certified Farmers' Market? Is there one near me?

The term "certified" used in the phrase "Certified Farmers' Markets" means that the produce is brought to the market straight from the farm, either by the farmer personally or by an employee. Only California grown produce may be certified. Los Angeles County agricultural inspectors visit and certify participating farms growing crops locally. They inspect the markets and review all farmer's papers for accuracy, thereby certifying that the farmers are only selling what they, themselves, have grown. Certified Farmers' Markets are located throughout Los Angeles County. Our website lists them by city & zip code.


What is this insect? Or what is wrong with my plant?

The Department operates an Entomology and Plant Pathology Laboratory, which seeks to protect consumers by identifying pest and potential agricultural pests entering Los Angeles County through port facilities. The labs provide rapid and accurate insect pest identification supporting the Pest Detection and Exclusion programs, as well as insect pest and plant disease identification and information services for Los Angeles County residents. Overall, the labs identify over 2,300 insect and plant specimens submitted annually by quarantine inspectors, the public and pest control operators. Detailed information on some insect pests and plant diseases of concern in Southern California is available. If you would like to submit samples for identification or analysis, see the Guidelines for Submitting Samples. Or if you have questions, you can send an e-mail.

Contact Us

Headquarters Office
12300 Lower Azusa Road
Arcadia, CA 91006-5872
(626) 575-5471

South Gate Office
11012 South Garfield Ave.
South Gate, CA 90280
(562) 622-0402

Antelope Valley Office
335 E. Ave. K-10
Lancaster, CA 93535
(661) 974-8801