Plant Disease and Insect Clinic
As a member of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN )and Southern Plant Diagnostic Network (SPDN ), the Plant Disease and Insect Clinic cooperates with many organizations and institutions to quickly detect pests and pathogens that have been introduced into agricultural and natural ecosystems, identify them, and immediately report them to appropriate responders and decision makers.
Some recently identified or exotic pests that threaten plant life in North Carolina are:
- Laurel Wilt , a threat to red bay and related species that grow in Coastal North Carolina forests. This disease was first reported in North Carolina in March 2011.
- Thousand Cankers Disease of black walnut is a threat to black walnut in natural ecosystems and landscapes. Thousand Cankers was reported in Eastern Tennessee in 2010.
- Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) . This insect has killed millions of ash trees in the Midwestern US. EAB has been reported in Tennessee and Virginia.
- Sudden Oak Death (SOD) . Sudden oak death is a threat to Eastern oak species and to many common landscape ornamentals, including azaleas and rhododendrons. The NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services monitors commercial nurseries for SOD and the NC Department of Envrionment and Natural Resources monitors streams for the SOD pathogen.
More information about specific pest threats can be found at the NPDN and SPDN websites. The PDIC also participates in training first responders to identify pest threats. Check Webinars and Training for more information.
If you suspect that you have found one of these pests, call 1-800-206-9333 or report by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
North Carolina also experiences periodic insect outbreaks and epidemics of established diseases. Early identification of these problems through samples submitted to the Plant Disease and Insect Clinic provides opportunities for a timely response. Common threats include:
- Late blight of tomato and potato (right) - this devastating disease caused the great Irish potato famine, and a more recent outbreak in 2009 caused extensive damage to tomatoes throughout the Eastern US. Photo by Mike Munster
- Downy mildew of cucurbits - this disease causes outbreaks that threaten cucumber and melon production in North Carolina nearly every year.
- Blue mold of tobacco - serious blue mold outbreaks do not occur regularly, but cause extensive damage in some years.
Please contact a County Agent or Master Gardener if you suspect one of these threats. They can determine whether a sample should be submitted to the PDIC for positive identification and recommendations.
- North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA & CS )
- North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR )
- USDA Animal Plant Health and Inspection Service (APHIS )
- National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN )
- Southern Plant Diagnostic Network (SPDN)
- North Carolina Cooperative Extension