This paper estimates the expected annual impacts of the Pink Hibiscus Mealybug infestation on the economies of Florida and the rest of the United States. The approach involves a Markov chain analysis wherein both short run and long run expected damages from infestation are calculated. Use is made of the CLIMEX model that predicts the potential pest-establishment regions in the US. While predictions based upon the CLIMEX model extend the scope of damages beyond Florida, the damages are significantly dependent upon the rate of arrival and detection of species in those regions. Damages are significantly higher when a longer time horizon is considered. When nursery owners bear the full cost of quarantines in the form of loss of sales and treatment costs of infected plants, the cost-effectiveness of quarantines as a regulatory tool is diminished. The long run propensity of the system, in terms of the fraction of time spent in the possible 'states' of infestation and control, determines the extent of damages, and not the annual value of crops that could be potential hosts to the pest. © Springer-Verlag 2006.