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Survey & Detection Program

The Entomology Program conducts plant pest surveys (insects, plant diseases, and nematodes). Plant pest surveys can be conducted by periodic visual surveys, sampling, or regular detection trapping programs. Surveys are conducted to determine if a particular pest exists in an area (example, in a county), and if found, how extensive the infestation is. Surveys are also needed to determine the feasibility of eradication, areas where eradication treatments need to be applied, and areas where quarantine measures need to be applied.

Plant pest survey data is needed in order to facilitate exports. Presence or absence data is important. Plant pests that may hinder or restrict plant and plant product exports should be surveyed. Laboratory diagnosis of the plant pests is crucial. This data is needed to document pest-free areas. Pest management areas will also be gained from survey data. Coordination of a statewide survey is important to the plant industry of Nebraska.

Regionalization provides for the certification of plants and plant products on a regional basis. This regional approach allows for the establishment of pest-free areas.

Area-wide Nematodes

Field locations for seed potatoes, tablestock potatoes, and nursery growers who export will be sampled in September, October, and November. In 2018, a total of 24 soil samples were taken in 11 counties across Nebraska. Samples are analyzed by the UNL Plant Pathology Department for the presence of quarantine and export significant nematodes including: potato rot (Ditylenchus destructor); potato cyst (Globodera pallida, G. rostochiensis); soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera glycines); root knot nematodes (Meloidogyne chitwoodi, M. hapla, M. javanica); and other plant parasitic nematode genera. Dr. Tom Powers, UNL nematologist, and his staff conduct morphological and molecular diagnostics of all adult and juvenile nematodes found in the soil samples. The identification of plant parasitic nematodes helps to establish and maintain pest-free areas for the export of plants and plant products. The documentation of species distribution will exhibit compliance to certification of potatoes. All results are negative.

Christmas Tree Lot Quarantine Compliance Inspection

During the 2018 season, NDA staff inspected Christmas trees at 38 dealers in 12 counties. Inspections took place in November and December to verify compliance with the federal Gypsy Moth and Pine Shoot beetle quarantines. Inspectors confirm compliance through paperwork review and physical inspection of the trees. No violations were found.

Emerald Ash Borer

As part of a national survey, NDA set and monitored 54 traps in nine counties at high-risk areas, such as state parks and rest stops. One adult emerald ash borer (EAB) was collected from a single trap on two separate occasions at Mahoney State Park. Additionally an adult EAB was collected from a USDA trap in Lancaster County in Summer, 2018. There was also a non-survey EAB find in Dodge County. NDA issued a quarantine for Lancaster, Otoe, and Saunders counties to expand the current quarantine in Douglas, Sarpy, Cass, Washington and Dodge counties prohibiting ash nursery stock from leaving the quarantine area. The quarantine also regulates the movement of hardwood firewood, hardwood mulch, ash timber products and green waste out of the quarantined areas to assist in the prevention of human-driven spread of EAB to uninfested areas.

NDA continues to inspect nursery stock for insect and disease problems, including EAB. Particular attention is given to ash stock entering the state. NDA Inspectors check for labeling of place of origin on nursery stock, as required by the Nebraska Plant Protection and Plant Pest Act, to ensure federal and state quarantines are being followed. NDA continues to educate the nursery industry about this potential threat to ash trees in Nebraska through outreach programs. NDA has developed EAB outreach materials, which continue to be distributed at various industry meetings and conferences. Additional information on EAB, including quarantine information, can be found on our EAB page.

Firewood Dealer Quarantine Compliance Inspections

In 2018, NDA inspectors inspected firewood dealers across the state to collect data on the distribution of firewood in Nebraska, as well as the origins of the firewood. A total of 190 firewood dealers in 30 counties were inspected to verify compliance with the Federal Gypsy moth, EAB, and Asian Longhorn Beetle quarantines and the Nebraska Thousand Cankers Disease of Walnut quarantine. While most of the wood was of Nebraska origin, wood was also found to have originated in eleven other states or countries, including Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Latvia. One Withdrawal-From-Distribution Order was issued for 11 bundles of firewood that originated within the Nebraska quarantine area and were found outside of the quarantine.

Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar)

A total of 592 gypsy moth traps were set in 2018. Traps were set in 56 counties across the state. All traps were negative.

Firewood surveys are also conducted as part of Nebraska’s gypsy moth prevention efforts. For details, see Firewood Dealer Quarantine Compliance Inspections above.

Japanese Beetle (Popillia japonica)

In 2018, a total of 124 JB traps were set in non-infested counties. Thirty-four traps were set in known infested counties. Traps are located at airports, state parks, special quarantine compliance areas, and nurseries. Nursery stock distributors in non-infested counties that import balled and burlapped nursery stock are considered high-risk sights and, therefore, trapped individually. The traps were in place from the end of May until October 1.

After the 2018 trapping season, NDA declared three more counties as being infested with JB: Nance, Polk, and Pierce. Prior to 2018, Adams, Buffalo, Burt, Butler, Cass, Clay, Colfax, Cuming, Dakota, Dawson, Dodge, Douglas, Fillmore, Gage, Hall, Hamilton, Howard, Jefferson, Johnson, Lancaster, Lincoln, Madison, Merrick, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Phelps, Platte, Richardson, Saline, Sarpy, Saunders, Seward, Thayer, Thurston, Washington, Wayne, and York were already listed as infested.

Karnal Bunt Survey

Karnal Bunt sampling occurred in June and July 2018. A total of 65, four-pound wheat samples were pulled in 31 counties, based on the 2018 National Karnal Bunt Survey Protocol. All samples were sent to the National Karnal Bunt Lab in Phoenix, Arizona for analysis. All samples tested negative for Karnal Bunt.

Khapra Beetle Survey

In 2019, a total of 120 Khapra beetle traps will be set at 36 sites in 5 counties. Traps will be screened for Khapra beetles every 30 days during lure replacement and remain in place for 90 days.

Oak Commodity Survey

This detection survey will gather data to determine the presence or absence of the following oak insects not known to occur in Nebraska: oak ambrosia beetle (Platypus quercivorus), false codling moth (Thaumatotibia leucotreta), pink gypsy moth (aka rosy moth - Lymantria mathura), variegated golden tortrix (Archips xylosteanus), and oak processionary moth (Thaumetopoea processionea). The survey involves three different trap types: multi-funnel traps, large plastic delta traps, and wing traps. Traps were placed in May and June 2018, and monitored throughout the summer. A total of 11 sites in 7 counties were surveyed for these pests, with a total of 75 traps set. All traps were negative.

Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) Soil Survey

NDA participated in the National PCN survey from September through early November 2018. Upon completion, 1, 944 five-pound soil samples were collected from potato fields in six potato producing counties. All samples were sent to the USDA Idaho Falls PCN laboratory for PCN (Globodera pallida and Globodera rostochiensis). All samples were negative for PCN.

Seed Potato Quarantine Compliance Inspection

During early spring of 2018, NDA inspectors conducted compliance inspections at 203 seed potato dealer locations in 34 counties. These inspections were to confirm compliance with Nebraska’s Columbia Root Knot Quarantine, and the Federal Potato Cyst Nematode quarantine. Seven violations were found.

Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) Survey

From June-October 2018, NDA conducted 94 visual surveys in 36 counties across Nebraska for SLF and Tree of Heaven (ToH), the preferred host of adult SLF. Visual surveys were conducted to determine the presence of SLF or ToH at nurseries, urban greenspaces, roadways, and forested areas across the state. These surveys will be used to record high-risk areas for introduction and establishment of SLF in Nebraska. A total of 53 of the 94 locations surveyed had ToH present. SLF was not detected at any location surveyed this year.

Thousand Cankers (TCD) Disease Survey

In 2018, NDA trapped for walnut twig beetle at a total of 13 sites in 10 counties. Each trapping site consisted of 3-6 funnel traps in various locations for a total of 45 traps in the state. This survey was very labor intensive. In order to maintain the viability of the sample for accurate ID of the pest, traps were serviced every two weeks. All traps were negative.

Velvet Longhorned Beetle (VLB) Survey

In 2018, VLB was found in lumber originally from South Dakota used to build a table in Nebraska. Based on this find, NDA trapped for VLB at 15 sites in 10 counties from June- September 2018. Each trap site consisted of 3-6 funnel traps totaling 48 traps in the state. Traps were serviced every two weeks. All traps were negative.