Pests are organisms that are capable of harming humans, animals, plants or the environment. Pests include a variety of organisms ranging from microbes to plants to animals.
An organism that causes plant disease is called a plant pathogen. Plant pathogens are considered plant pests. Plant pathogens spread in various ways, including by insects, water, soil, air, people and other animals.
A goal of the MDA is to protect Minnesota’s terrestrial plants from insect pests and pathogens. We do this through inspections and testing of nursery stock, seed, including seed potatoes, and by keeping new invasive pathogens out of the state.
Multiple approaches are used by the MDA to deal with pests. First, we try to prevent new pests from arriving in Minnesota through best management practices and regulation. Secondly, pest surveys are conducted and used to detect them soon after they arrive. If a pest is not widespread, we will try to eradicate or contain the infestation. If the pest is widely established, we use an integrated approach to manage pest populations.
If you suspect an invasive pest, write a short description of what you saw and where you saw it and take a picture if possible. Make sure to include your contact information! Send to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can play a role in helping to detect invasive pests from moving into and spreading across Minnesota. Examples of insect pests that have been or are of concern to the MDA are the brown marmorated stink bug, gypsy moth, emerald ash borer, soybean aphid and Japanese beetle.