Forest Pests of North America
Native and Non-native insects, diseases, and weeds of urban, managed, and natural forests



Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Forest Pest/Damage Agent?
What is a Host Tree?
How do I figure out what is damaging my trees?
I think I have a pest in my trees, should I tell someone? Who should I contact?
My trees have been damaged by a pest, what should I do?
What are Web Toolboxes?
How do I submit pictures for the image database?
Can I use images from this website/Bugwood?
Why don’t you have an image of every pest on every tree?
Where did you come up with the list of forest pests/damage agents or the list of host trees?

What is a Forest Pest/Damage Agent?
A pest is an insect, disease, weed or other abiotic or biotic factor which can cause damage or death to a host tree.  Damage Agents for this website are categorized as: Insects, Diseases, Weeds, and Other Damage Agents.  Within insects and diseases, the categories are broken out into the area of the tree damaged or the type of damage inflicted on the tree; e.g., wood boring, gall makers, and foliage diseases.  Weeds are divided by the habit of the weed species; e.g., tree, shrub, and vine.  Other damage agents is divided into three sections by the cause of the damage to the host tree: Abiotic Damage, Human Damage, and Animal Damage.

What is a Host Tree?
A tree or shrub that is a known target for Forest Pests.

How do I figure out what is damaging my trees?
There are a couple different ways to use this website to identify what is affecting your trees. Clicking on the "Pest ID Tools" tab will take you to a list of resources for identifying pests of forests, these are primarily insect and disease pests. Clicking on the "Damage Agents" tab will open a side bar. From there you can choose the suspected damage agent: Insect (including the non-insect arthropods called mites), Disease, Weeds, or Other Damage Agents. Following through the options for type of damage or area of the tree damaged will narrow down the possibilities of the damage agent. Another option is to choose "Host Trees" tab, choose the species of the damaged tree, and view the information and images available on the known damage agents for that species.

I think I have a pest in my trees, should I tell someone? Who should I contact?
If you suspect that your tree or shrub is infested with a non-native pest or pest of concern, choose the "Professional Contacts" tab and select the state you live in. From there it will tell you the contacts for that state for pests of regulatory concern as well as for the extension service. Call or e-mail the contacts and they should be able to advise you on the proper reporting or sampling procedures.

My trees have been damaged by a pest, what should I do?
The safest option is to contact a professional (Urban forester, arborist, county extension service, etc.) to evaluate the tree. The course of treatment for a damaged tree is based on the type and extent of the damage, type of tree, and desired use of the tree. The tree should be evaluated to assess the potential for hazard to property and people and for the potential spread of insect or disease pests. A professional can recommend if the tree can be treated or must be removed and may be able to recommend a replacement if one is desired.

What are Web Toolboxes?
Web Toolboxes are aggregated publications, websites, tools, and other resources that are tailored to different needs. Four categories of toolboxes have been designated: Homeowner, Urban Forester, Outreach Educators, and Land Managers. All toolboxes include resources for: Identification and Management, Mapping and Reporting, and Publications. Resources have been tailored to the needs of those categories; e.g. Outreach Educators includes teaching materials and pamphlets, Homeowners includes publications and tools that are designed to be accessible to lay-people. Each category also includes sections specific to the interests of each profession:
Homeowner - Landscaping alternatives - Includes websites and publications for replacing damaged trees.
Urban Forester - Research and Case Studies - Includes publications and resources on research and previous studies as related to pests of urban trees. These resources are chosen to aid Urban Foresters and Arborists in preparing their areas for native or invasive pests.
Outreach and Educators - Education Resources - Includes materials and websites to educate people of all ages about forest pests.
Land Manager - Programs and Regulations - Resources for funding programs or grants and regulatory information.

How do I submit pictures for the image database?
If you have high quality pictures of forest pests, we would be interested in considering them for inclusion in the Bugwood Images Database. At the top of the page is a bar with several links, click on the "Images" link. From there you can upload images. You can also review your images, edit your profile, view you statistics for image viewing and use, and see what images we are recruiting. When uploading images, follow the posted instruction to ensure a quick turn-around time for image availability

Can I use images from this website/Bugwood?
Refer to the Image Use page and if you still have questions, e-mail bugwood@uga.edu.

Why don’t you have an image of every pest on every tree?
While BugwoodImages recruits images from a variety of sources, we are always looking for something.  Some pests are difficult to find during all stages of their life cycle or on all the host trees that they can infest, so we may not be able to display every combination of pest and host interaction that has been documented.  If you would like to contribute quality images of a pest infesting a host to BugwoodImages, visit http://images.bugwood.org/ and follow the instructions to Upload Images.

Where did you come up with the list of forest pests/damage agents or the list of host trees?
The lists for damage agents and host trees are not exhaustive for all species worldwide.  The list of damage agents was based on a variety of U. S. Forest Service publications, such as Eastern Forest Insects and Western Forest Insects, and has been updated to include introduced invasive species.  The list of host trees was adapted from the U. S. Forest publication Silvics of North America (http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm) and includes genera that are common, wide-spread, or regionally significant.