Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Pests and diseases of agriculture threaten market access, our natural environment, public health and our food supply. Know the signs of emerging and existing pests and diseases to help protect Florida. These pages provide pest/disease information, photos, state/federal regulations and best management practices when available. Be vigilant, to prevent the introduction of harmful pests and diseases, report signs of disease or an unusual pest. To report a pest please call 1-888-397-1517 or email a photo: DPIHelpline@FreshFromFlorida.com
Aceria litchii, the lychee erinose mite, is highly host-specific and mostly known to attack lychee. This mite can cause up to 80 percent fruit loss. If you have a lychee or longan grove, please take extra care to scout your grove for this pest. If you feel you may have lychee erinose mite in your grove, please contact the Division of Plant Industry Helpline. Do not attempt to treat or move the pest.
The African honey bee (AHB) population has grown and will continue to grow in Florida due to its numerous pathways into the state and the lack of effective eradication products or techniques. To prevent stinging incidents, Look for bees and Listen for buzzing when working or playing outdoors and always be aware of your surroundings and potential hive locations. If attacked, Run away with your face covered get inside a car or building call a licensed pest control to remove the hive; dont attempt to remove it yourself. Seek medical attention if needed.
Learn about the different pests and diseases that plague Florida's citrus.
Colony Collapse Disorder, also known as Fall-Dwindle Disease, is of great concern to beekeepers worldwide.
Cotton seed bug, Oxycarenus hyalinipennis (Costa), is a serious pest of cotton and other plants in the cotton family. This pest can also feed on other fruits and seeds of unrelated plants, causing significant damage.
In late 2011, the downy mildew disease of garden impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) caused by Plasmopara obducens made its first appearance in Florida in the Palm Beach County area. The pathogen, known for many years in other parts of the U.S. and the world, has become an exceptionally damaging pest in Europe and the northeastern U.S. in recent seasons. The disease has the potential for widespread and rapid destruction of this very popular bedding and pot plant.
The Eastern lubber grasshopper (Romalea microptera (Beauvois)) is a large colorful flightless grasshopper that often comes to the attention of Florida homeowners. It is native to Florida and the Southeastern Coastal Plain of the U.S.
Because of its size and coloration even one individual in a garden is conspicuous, but occasionally local populations explode to such an extent that the grasshoppers can seriously damage ornamentals, row crops and citrus groves. Such population explosions are the result in variation of factors such as weather and rates of parasitism by beneficial insects that normally limit population growth.
Emerald ash borer has killed millions of ash trees in the northern U.S. since its arrival in 2002. This beetle is hitchhiking on firewood infesting new areas at an alarming rate. Florida ash trees are at risk, so please do not transport firewood from other states. If you think you have seen an emerald ash borer or a diseased ash tree, contact the DPI Helpline: 1-888-397-1517.
Fruit flies are one of the most potentially destructive pests in the world. Fruit flies have a wide host range of fruits, vegetables and nuts, and most of Florida’s crops, including citrus, fall within the host range. This makes it imperative to act quickly and decisively when any species of fruit fly is found. The division is currently using several methods to support and protect Florida from exotic fruit fly pests.
Scientists consider the giant African land snail (or GALS) to be one of the most damaging snails in the world because it is known to consume at least 500 different types of plants, and can pose a serious health risk to humans. These snails could be devastating to Florida agriculture and natural areas because they cause extensive damage to tropical and subtropical environments. GALS are illegal to import into the United States without a permit. If you have seen one of these snails, please contact the Division of Plant Industry (DPI) helpline 1-888-397-1517.
Laurel wilt is a deadly disease of redbay (Persea borbonia) and other tree species in the Laurel family (Lauraceae). The disease is caused by a fungus (Raffaelea lauricola) that is introduced into host trees by a non-native insect, the redbay ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus).
Mikania micrantha Kunth (also known by the common names of climbing hempweed, mile-a-minute, Chinese creeper and bittervine) is a fast growing vine on both the federal and Florida state noxious weed lists. It thrives in warm and humid environments, and has been observed to grow almost half a meter per week under optimal conditions. Mile-a-minute is one of the top 100 global invasive pests.
Pest alerts are scientific publications regarding agriculture pests of concern to Florida. This page provides links to alerts about pests that have arrived in Florida or that may arrive soon.
Red palm mite, Raoiella indica Hirst (Acari: Tenuipalpidae), is a pest of coconut, areca palm and date palms. The red palm mite was discovered in Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach County, Florida, on November 29, 2007.
Soybean rust is a very important exotic disease threatening commercial soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill) production in the US. Though Florida grew only 11,000 acres of soybean (out of a total of approximately 73.4 million acres nationwide) in 2003, the Gulf Coast states are considered the likely zone of introduction for soybean rust into North America.
Can't figure out what the flower or plant in your yard is? Need help determining what kind of bug you found outside? Learn how to properly submit a plant or insect specimen to the Division of Plant Industry for identification.
Sudden Oak Death (SOD) is a serious fungal disease that affects not only oaks but other plants including azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias and maples. At least 40 different plant species can act as hosts for the fungus. Although it does not kill most of the species, scientists say it is unprecedented to have a pathogen spread across so many native plant species so quickly. This disease is not harmful to humans or animals.
Texas Phoenix palm decline (TPPD) is a disease of palms that is caused by a phytoplasma. The phytoplasma is in the taxonomic group of organisms that produce lethal yellows or palm decline in palms. The earliest symptom is a discoloration of the lower (oldest) leaves of the palms. Discoloration begins at the tips of the leaflets. The disease is thought to be transmitted by an insect vector, probably a planthopper or leafhopper. The disease was first noticed in Florida in the Ruskin area in late 2006 and has been observed since then in Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Pinellas and Polk counties.
Information about the fig whitefly in Florida
Find information about tropical soda apple, including photos, history, research and frequently asked questions.