When insects cause harm to humans or their interests they are often labeled insect pests. Humans often desire to control insect pests to reduce their harmful or unwanted effects. Effective control of insect pests may demand using different strategies, depending on factors such as the type of insect, their growth stage, amount of damage caused, and host affected. You can learn more about strategies of controlling insect pests in the following article.
Controlling Insect Pests through IPM
Learn how certain characteristics of insects help us classify them into recognizable categories or divisions. The following site was developed for master gardeners to understand and identify insects that commonly cause damage. Read the sections: Introduction, Mouthparts, and Development.
Often times, the insect pest is not present on the host at the same time we notice the damage. In cases such as these, we cannot identify the insect through the use of an insect key. We must narrow down the possible insect pests by the type of damage they cause the host.
Use the following guides to identify pests by type of plant damage:
In cases where you are certain you have the insect responsible for causing the damage an insect key may be helpful.
If all else fails, and you can not identify your pest problem, you may be able to submit information to your state diagnostic plant laboratory using:
-User hint: Scroll down to "Diagnostic Laboratories by State" to find a diagnostic service in your state for identification and control information.
Information regarding insect pests can be found at the following two websites and in more detail under the following headings.
Trees, shrubs, and flowers, also known collectively as ornamental plants, are those we value mainly for their aesthetic value. The following guides to insect identification and management of insect pests on ornamentals are particularly helpful.
Choose the resource that most closely reflects your growing conditions.
Cool Season Grasses
While homes are not living hosts. When insects become pests indoors, the following insect key and list of fact sheets are helpful for control.
One of the best ways to reduce problems from invasive species is to identify and handle them properly. Certain insect pests are listed as invasive.
First it is helpful to know: What is an invasive species? According to the National Invasive Species Information Center:
An "invasive species" is defined as a species that is
1) non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration and
2) whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. (Executive Order 13112).
Human actions are the primary means of invasive species introductions.
Find lists of invasive insects at the following sites:
Insecticides and their use vary by state. Always check the pesticide label or your state laws and regulations before using the chemicals found in the following publications.
Many of the publications listed under the control and management portion of this page listed insecticides for treating insect pests. You may also want to try the following resources for more information:
The first two resources listed below offer alternative products for treating some insect pests. Extoxnet can help you find information on insecticides you may consider using.