By Ken Fry, PhD
Another set of tools for the landscape manager is the abundance of online and digital resources for pest identification. There are a growing number of integrated pest management (IPM) apps for digital devices, especially for turf management. However, there are not so many for accurate identification of tree pests. Instead, one has to rely on experts or limited knowledgebase apps. Landscape managers can now turn to social media and ‘citizen science’ sites on the web for support.
A useful site to solicit insect identification or to browse images to make identification is BugGuide.net. There are over 750,000 images of over 125,000 species available. Visitors can post an image and request identification from the hundreds of amateur and professional naturalists that frequent the site.
In an increasingly risk-prone landscape, managers should do what they can to exploit the functionality of the ecosystem to aid them in protecting the urban forest.
Steps that can be taken include:
• Providing a diverse habitat with adequate resources,
• Supporting beneficial arthropods by providing nectar and nesting resources; and
• Encouraging the development of a robust and vibrant landscape that is capable of resisting incursions by pests, native or alien.
Of course, early and accurate detection of pests is a must, and can be assisted by accessing the increasing array of online services and support.
Read the full article: Protecting The Urban Forest: Aliens, Biological Control, And Pests