Dirty shoes are a biosecurity risk as they can carry and spread pests and diseases.
A simple way to manage this risk is to make sure that you thoroughly wash and disinfect footwear when moving between different plant growing areas. This includes traveling between gardens, and venturing in and out of wilderness areas.
Use these three steps to prevent carrying plant pests and diseases on your shoes:
- Check for any source of contamination like soil, mud, water or plant material.
- Clean footwear with a brush to remove debris, and then wash with water to remove all visible plant material and soil.
- Disinfect footwear using a footbath or spray bottle containing a disinfecting solution.
Further information on shoe cleaning can be found in this Farm Biosecurity article about making your own footbath. While this article is for producers it is a great resource for understanding how to implement this practice.