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Georgia Department of Agriculture

Licensing and Inspection

One of the ways we meet our pest detection mission is through Live Plant Licensing and Plant Health Inspection. Since one of the main pathways for pest movement is through live plants (nursery stock), any business that grows and sells live plants - including florists, landscapers, retail plant dealers, plant brokers, and growers - must be licensed by the Plant Protection Section.  

All 19 field inspectors are engaged in conducting plant health inspections. Inspections are designed to identify plants that are grown or maintained in poor health or have insect, disease, or weed issues. A significant component of each inspection is dedicated to exotic pest detection. The most recent statistics from Customs & Border Protection reveal that, on average, 435 actionable pests are found at U.S. ports each day[1]. Additionally, there are invasive pests established in other states, so Inspectors look for “unusual” disease symptoms or insects that may indicate an invasive pest infestation. Samples may be submitted to UGA or to USDA for identification.

Occasionally, consumers are not satisfied with a plant purchased from a nursery, retail center, or one that may have been installed by a landscape company.  Our inspectors may be able to assist under specific conditions.  Please click here if you wish to report a problem with a plant you have purchased.


[1] FY2008 Fact Sheet.

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