Non-Native Insect Pests & Diseases
Non-native diseases and insect pests have significantly degraded the health of our forests. Several common native tree species have declined in numbers from non-native insects and diseases, some to the extent of being practically eliminated from our natural environment. Unfortunately, this has been occurring for over 100 years and new diseases and insect pests are discovered every few years. Continued work needs to be done to stop new insect pests and diseases from being introduced.
The best defense against non-native insect pests and diseases is avoiding introduction in the first place. However, once a non-native insect or disease has been introduced, early detection is the best defense. Early detection of infestations allows for more control options and reduces the likelihood of unknowingly transporting infested materials to a new location. Early detection will also give scientists more time to research potential control options. Whereas undetected infestations can quickly spread beyond control before even being discovered.
You can help by learning how to identify non-native insect pests and diseases, looking out for signs, and reporting new suspect infestations.