Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey

Invasive Pest Surveys (2021)

"Unitrap" in Utah corn field (source: Lori R. Spears, Utah State University Extension)
"Unitrap" trap set in corn and alfalfa fields (Source: Lori R. Spears, Utah State University Extension)
Delta trap in orchard crop (Source: Lori R. Spears, Utah State University Extension)


The Utah CAPS Program is cooperatively administered by Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) and the Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Lab (Utah Pests) at Utah State University. Working together, we conduct agricultural and specialty crops surveys for high-priority exotic plant pests with the primary objective of early detection of these species. Because many exotic pests share these important crops as hosts, the introduction of a pest species could be devastating to these commodities and to Utah growers, and have rippling effects on our natural resources, trade and our economies. 

Today, unprecedented pressure exists from exotic pests threatening our borders, heightened by the increase in trade and travel. Once an exotic species is detected, eradication efforts are expensive, and not always successful despite best efforts. Regular monitoring of key Utah crops is a critical early step in maintaining the relevance of our farmlands and the success of Utah growers, and for preserving our unique natural resources. Monitoring is done by placing traps with specialized lures in designated high-risk pest pathways and other at-risk areas to optimize potential high-priority captures. Past and current survey results are accessible to the public at the Pest Tracker website. 

Field Crops Surveys

Our field crops surveys focus on alfalfa, corn, and the small grain crops of wheat, barley, and oats. In Utah, field crops cover extensive acreage and produce commodities worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Alfalfa crops in our state are an almost $400-million industry, producing more than 2 million tons on 550,000 acres. Corn crops cover 90,000 acres and are valued at more than $22 million. Of Utah's small grain crops, wheat crops are planted on 110,000 acres, yielding more than 5.1 million bushel units valued at more than $29 million, and barley crops covers 17,000 acres with a crop value of over $3 million (NASS 2020)

High-priority pests targeted in the field crops surveys include Asiatic rice borer, barley aphid, brown marmorated stink bug, cucurbit beetle, false codling moth, old world bollworm, silver-Y moth, and sunn pest, among others. 

Specialty Crops Surveys

Our specialty crops surveys focus on fruit (tree fruit and small fruit) and vegetable crops. In 2015, apple crops in our state covered 1,200 acres, producing more than 15 million pounds valued at nearly $4.9 million. 2017 peach crops covered 1,200 acres and produced more than 3 tons of fruit valued at just under $5 million (Utah Annual Bulletin 2018). And Utah's tart cherry crops covered 3,000 acres, yielding more than 31 million pounds of produce (NASS 2020).

High-priority pests targeted in the specialty crops surveys include allium leafminer, brown marmorated stink bug, European cherry fruit fly, false codling moth, plum pox virus (PPV), spotted lanternfly, spotted wing drosophila, summer fruit tortrix moth, tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV), tomato fruit borer, and tomato leaf miner, among others. 

Target Pests

Allium Leaf Miner (Phytomyza gymnostoma)
Not Present In Utah

Allium leafminer targets leek and onion and was first reported in the Western Hemisphere in 2015 in Pennsylvania. As of 2020, this pest has been confirmed in Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.

Asiatic Rice Borer (Chilo suppressalis)
Not Present In Utah

Asiatic rice borer is a highly destructive cold-hardy pest of rice, but other hosts include grasses, sorghum, broccoli, lemongrass, millet, tomato, eggplant, wheat, and corn. In the U.S., this pest was first reported in Hawaii in 1927.

Barley Aphid (Sipha maydis)
This Pest Has Been Detected In SE Utah

Barley aphid feeds on grasses and cereal crops and is a threat to wheat, barley, and sorghum. This pest causes yellowing (chlorosis) of leaves and is a vector for barley yellow dwarf virus, one of the most important and destructive diseases of small grain crops globally. 

  • CAPS pest datasheet: Barley Aphid (Coming soon!)
  • Pest Tracker: Barley Aphid (Coming soon!)
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Halyomorpha halys)
Arrow points to white banding on BMSB antennae<br><h6>(Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,</h6>
BMSB damage on fruit<br><h6>(Christopher Bergh, Virginia Tech)</h6>
Interior corking injury caused by BMSB feeding<br><h6>(Christopher Bergh, Virginia Tech)</h6>
This Pest Has Been Detected In Utah

Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) feeds on vegetation and fruits of a broad range of plants. It was first detected in Utah in 2012, and has been found in Box Elder, Cache, Carbon, Davis, Kane, Salt Lake, Utah, and Weber counties as of May 2016.

Cucurbit Beetle (Diabrotica speciosa)
Not Present In Utah

The cucurbit beetle is an important pest of corn, cucurbits, and orchard crops. Major hosts include pepper (Capsicum spp.), winter squash (Cucurbita maxima), soybean, potato, peanut, wheat, grape, and corn. Larvae are pests of roots, especially corn. 

European Cherry Fruit Fly (Rhagoletis cerasi)
Not Present In Utah

European cherry fruit fly (ECFF) is the most serious pest of cherry in Europe. Damage associated with uncontrolled larval feeding can result in losses up to 100%. This pest is native to Europe and parts of Asia, and was first detected in the U.S. in New York in 2017. 

False Codling Moth (Thaumatotibia leucotreta)
Not Present In Utah

False codling moth is an economic pest of many crops, primarily including stone fruits, Solanaceous crops, and citrus. Minor hosts include corn and grape. Larval feeding and development can affect fruit at any stage.

Old World Bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera)
Not Present In Utah

Old world bollworm is a polyphagous pest that attacks plants from a wide range of families including Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Mavaceae, Poaceae, and Solanaceae. Larvae are known to feed on at least 60 economically important plant species. Major hosts include cauliflower, cabbage, mustard, bell pepper, eggplant, sunflower, alfalfa, pea, potato, tomato, clover, and corn. 

Plum Pox Virus (Potyvirus Plum Pox Virus)
Not Present In Utah

Plum pox virus (PPV) targets stone fruit crops (Prunus spp.), including plum, peach, apricot, and cherry, as well as wild and ornamental Prunus species, and is the most widespread disease of stone fruits in Europe. PPV reduces fruit yield and quality and shortens the productive lifespan of orchards. 

Silver-Y Moth (Autographa gamma)
Not Present In Utah

Silver-Y moth is a polyphagous pest that attacks cereals, grasses, fiber crops, Brassica species, and other vegetables that include legumes, tomato, and potato. Silver-Y moth is considered highly likely to become established in the U.S. if introduced, and the consequences for U.S. agricultural and natural ecosystems are rated as severe.

Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula)
SLF adult side view (Lawrence Barringer,
Spotted lanternfly nymphs  [Sources: Emilie Swackhamer, Pennsylvania State University, (left image); Lawrence Barringer, PA Dept. of Agriculture, (right image)]
SLF adult with spread wings (Lawrence Barringer, PA Department of Agriculture)
Not Present In Utah

Spotted lanternfly adults and nymphs feed on the phloem of a wide range of host plants in large numbers. Feeding weakens the host plant and results in large quantities of honeydew (excrement) that covers surfaces and plants below, leading to sooty mold growth. It was first detected in North American in 2014 in Pennsylvania.

Spotted Wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii)
This Pest Has Been Detected In Utah

Spotted wing drosophila is a pest of small fruit crops and was first detected in the U.S. in California in 2008, where it has been recorded feeding in cherry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, and strawberry. This pest was first detected in Utah in 2010. 

Summer Fruit Tortrix Moth (Adoxophyes orana)
Not Present In Utah

Summer fruit tortrix moth is a pest of Rosaceous trees including apple, cherry and pear, among others. It is native to Europe and Asia and is currently not established in the U.S. This pest has been intercepted at U.S. ports of entry.

Sunn Pest (Eurygaster integriceps)
Not Present In Utah

Sunn pest is native to northern Africa and is a pest of small grain crops including wheat, barley, and oats. Adult coloration is widely variable.

Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (Tobamovirus Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus)
Not Present In Utah

Tomato brown rugose fruit virus is a newly identified virus that can cause severe fruit loss in tomatoes and peppers and is easily transferred by contaminated materials and plant-to-plant contact. This virus was detected and eradicated in 2018 from a greenhouse in California. In 2019, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) enacted a Federal Order imposing restrictions on related imported material from high-risk countries in order to protect these U.S. crops that are worth more than $2.3 billion annually (USDA APHIS 2019).

  • CAPS Pest Datasheet: Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (Not yet available)
  • Pest Tracker: Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus (Not yet available)
Tomato Fruit Borer (Neoleucinodes elegantalis)
Not Present In Utah

Tomato fruit borer is a pest of Solanaceous plants, including tomato. It is native to South America, where this pest is responsible for tomato losses of up to 45% in Brazil.

Tomato Leaf Miner (Tuta absoluta)
Not Present In Utah

The tomato leafminer is a devastating pest of tomato crops. Other hosts include potato, eggplant, and common beans, among others. In the last 10 years, this pest has increased from affecting 3% to currently 60% of tomato crops worldwide (source: