Report a Sighting
Reporting invasive pests listed on this web site is one of the most important things you can do to help stem the tide of invasion. Several state and federal agencies are working to limit the spread of invasive pests and the damage these pests do to agriculture and our natural environments. In Arkansas, the lead agencies for dealing with invasive pests are the State Plant Board at the state level and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) at the federal level.
We have provided a couple of ways for you to report sightings of the invasive pests listed on this web site. First, we are developing a database where you can create a record of the sighting. The database will be checked often for new records. Some basic information will be required for a sighting report.
We’ll need to know exactly what pest you have found. If you’re not certain of the identity of the particular pest you have found, please contact your county extension agent. Your county extension agent can help you identify the invasive pest and help you determine whether it is one of the pests that is the subject of this web site.
Please be aware that right now we are looking for information about six forest invasive pests: cogongrass, Asian longhorned beetle, European gypsy moth, European sirex woodwasp, thousand-cankers disease, and emerald ash borer.
We’ll need to know where you found the pest. This information will be used for two purposes. It will be used to map progress of the pest across the state. That helps establish boundaries for quarantines that may be necessary to slow spread of the pest. The location information may also be used in efforts to eradicate the pest.
We’ll need to know when you found the pest. The timing may be important as it relates to past eradication efforts. An observation of a pest after an eradication effort indicates an incomplete eradication and that further work is needed. Knowing the date of an observation is also important to understanding the spread rate of a pest.
We’ll need your contact information. In many cases, the person who is responsible for verifying the report will want to ask you exactly how to find the location of the pest. It also may be necessary to seek permission to access private property.
If you want to talk to someone about a specific pest you may have seen, here are the people to contact:
Plant Pests or Diseases
Joel W. Bard
State Plant Health Director
Phone: (501) 324-5258
Animal Pests or Diseases
Dr. Becky Brewer
Phone: (501) 224-9515
State Plant Board
Director of Plant Industry
1 Natural Resources Drive
Little Rock, AR 72205
Phone: (501) 225-1598
There is an existing database for reporting pests in our area called the Invasive Plant Atlas of the MidSouth (IPAMS).
The IPAMS database is sponsored by the Geosystems Research Institute of Mississippi State University. As the name implies, the database focuses on the states surrounding Mississippi, including Arkansas. The IPAMS database is searchable by plant species, by location, and by date. Users must have an IPAMS account (free) to submit records to the database. They request that photos be submitted with the report. A botanist at Mississippi State will examine the photos submitted with each report to assure accurate identification before the report is officially entered into the database. The main drawback to this database is its focus exclusively on pest plants.
This database will be searched periodically by someone from the State Plant Board to locate new records of invasive pests in Arkansas. If you post records of invasive pests here, they will be seen and processed.