Issue 6, June 1, 2015

Distance Diagnostics

Correct pest identification is the first step in developing a successful Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan.  Sadly, not every pest is easily identified, especially when you start talking about all the biotic/non-pathogenic problems such as chemical drift, drought, lightning, soil compaction, etc., coupled with the true bugs, fungi and weeds.  Who would have thought that chemical injury can look like leafhopper injury?  It can.

ID can be difficult.  Insects may be nocturnal, working when we don't see them.  Problems may show up long after the pest is there.  One man's weed may be another's ideal plant.  Pathogenic diseases are usually microscopic and difficult to see.

To help, local county Extension offices have access to the University of Illinois' DDDI (Distance Diagnostics through Digital Imaging) system which can send images to specialists throughout the state and on campus.  Digital images of the problem are uploaded to the system, though like any system, the quality of the image/s is important.  Additionally, having background information of the pest and/or site is also crucial.  Without as much detailed information as possible, it may be difficult to accurately diagnose the pest problem.  This system is free, with turn-around time generally less than 48 hours.

You might want to bookmark many University of Illinois Extension and state websites which can also assist with pest ID and controls.  These include:

Turfgrass Pests:

General Insects:

Vegetable Problems:

Wildlife Problems:

General Plant Problems:

Environmental Health Problems (mosquitoes, bedbugs, cockroaches, etc.):

(David Robson)

David Robson

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