Fact Sheets - Invasive Species
The Asian giant hornet (AGH) is an invasive wasp native to Southeast Asia. AGH was recently detected in a small area of North America, but is not known to be established in that region. This insect is a concern to beekeepers because it can quickly destroy honey bee colonies. Stings can cause pain and swelling and are a health concern for people with bee or wasp allergies. At roughly 2 inches in length, AGH is the world's largest hornet.
The balsam woolly adelgid (BWA) is a tiny sucking invasive insect native to Europe. In the U.S., BWA is a serious pest of true firs in forests, landscapes, and in seed and Christmas tree production. In some areas of North America, BWA has completely removed true firs from forest stands. In Utah, subalpine fir is a highly susceptible host tree. Be on the lookout for signs of this destructive pest.
Additional information on the life history and management of the balsam woolly adelgid (BWA) is listed here. In the U.S., BWA is a serious pest of true firs in forests, landscapes, and in seed and Christmas tree production. In some areas of North America, BWA has completely removed true firs from forest stands. In Utah, subalpine fir is a highly susceptible host tree; white fir is also a host but is more tolerant.
The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) was accidentally introduced into the eastern U.S. from Asia in the late 1990s and was first detected in Utah in 2012. BMSB can now be found in several northern Utah counties. BMSB can be a nuisance pest as it aggregates in large numbers, and it has a broad host range that includes fruit, vegetable, ornamental, and field crop plants. Be on the lookout for this invasive pest.
Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is an invasive insect that attacks fruit and vegetable crops in Utah. BMSB was first detected in Utah in 2012, and since 2017 it has caused damage to fruits and vegetables in some Northern Utah counties. More detailed monitoring and management strategies are included here.
Parasitoid wasps that sting and kill brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) eggs are the most promising type of biological control for this invasive pest. Parasitoid wasps found in Utah that can affect BMSB are discussed here, including the highly specialized samurai wasp, Trissolcus japonicus, that is native to BMSB’s home range and was detected in Utah in June 2019.
The emerald ash borer (EAB) has caused extensive damage to ash trees where it has become established in North America. Although it has not been detected in Utah, EAB is now established most closely in Colorado where it is causing extensive damage to ash trees. New infestations are difficult to detect and damage may not be obvious for years. EAB initially infests tree crowns, and adults leave behind distinctive D-shaped exit holes about 1/8 inch wide when they emerge from trees in the spring. The larvae create serpentine shaped, excrement-filled channels that appear on peeled bark. Be on the lookout for this destructive pest, and report any suspected EAB in Utah to the Utah Plant Pest and Diagnostic Lab.
The European cherry fruit fly (ECFF) is a new invasive pest from Europe that infests cherry fruit. It was first detected in North America in Ontario in 2016, and first detected in the U.S. in New York in 2017. Larvae are the damaging life stage; they feed exclusively within fruits, causing them to rot and fall off the tree. In Europe, heavy infestations have resulted in 100% fruit loss. Since adults fly only short distances, spread occurs primarily through movement of infested fruit.
The red and black imported fire ants (IFA) are an invasive and aggressive pest not known to occur in Utah, but parts of southern Utah may be suitable for colony establishment, particularly in areas that have accessible water from irrigation or natural sources. IFA cause agricultural, ecological, economical, nuisance, and public health issues. IFA are native to South America and have invaded other countries, including the U.S. This pest can be easily distinguished from other ants in Utah by the varying sizes of workers within a colony. Be on the lookout for this pest in Utah, and report any suspected colonies to the Utah Plant Pest and Diagnostic Lab.
Learn how to identify some invasive insects and their look-alikes. Here, we provide a quick identification guide for brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) and Japanese beetle (JB)--both of which currently occur in Utah--as well as emerald ash borer (EAB) and Asian longhorned beetle (ALB).
The Japanese beetle (JB) can cause significant damage in high numbers, and In 2020, Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) declared an emergency and is now working to eradicate this pest. Vegetative hosts include ornamental plants, trees, shrubs, turfgrass and vegetables. JB was first discovered in Utah in 2006 in Orem, and an aggressive eradication program successfully eliminated it from the state at that time. Constant pressure from travel and trade resulted in 8 captures in monitoring traps from 2012-2015, and subsequent high-density trapping resulted in no additional captures until 2018. In 2019, 36 JB were captured in Salt Lake County and 7 in Davis County. If you suspect JB in Utah, please contact the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food or USU’s Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Lab. Be on the lookout for this pest.
The small hive beetle (SHB) is a pest of honey and bumble bee colonies and is found throughout much of the U.S., with highest infestations occurring in the Southeast. It was first detected in Utah in 2016 and is now confirmed in Washington and Davis counties. This African native feeds on pollen and honey, kills bee brood and workers, and causes honey to discolor and ferment. Infestations can be prevented by early detection, using good husbandry techniques, maintaining a high ratio of bees to comb, and keeping hives in partial to full sun. Chemical control options for SHB are limited due to bee toxicities. Be on the lookout for this pest.
The spotted lanternfly (SLF) is a new invasive pest from China that was first detected in the U.S. in Pennsylvania in 2014 and has since spread to other states. SLF attacks more than 100 host plants, including grapes, fruit trees, hops, and hardwood and ornamental trees. Extensive feeding results in weeping wounds, which combined with SLF's sugary excrement, can promote the growth of sooty mold, a gray-black fungus, that can impact plant vigor and crop yield. Additionally, congregations of this large planthopper pest create a nuisance to homeowners. Be on the lookout for this pest, and report any suspected SLF in Utah to the Utah Plant Pest and Diagnostic Lab.
The spotted wing drosophila (SWD) has been detected in many counties in northern Utah, and can be controlled using insecticides common in fruit integrated pest management plants. If SWD is caught in monitoring traps, insecticide applications must be used during the unripe fruit stage to prevent damage. Be on the lookout for this pest.
Utah State University Extension specialists explain how to identify the invasive spotted wing drosophila (SWD), and how to attract and trap them using hot water, yeast, sugar, and dish soap.
Monitoring is a crucial first step for managing the invasive spotted wing drosophila (SWD). Methods for monitoring and diagnosing SWD are discussed here. Suspected SWD caught in monitoring traps can be sent to the Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Lab (UPPDL) for identification before applying an insecticide.
The velvet longhorned beetle (VLB) is an invasive wood-boring beetle native to Asia and Russia that was first detected in Utah in 2010. VLB will attack living and dying trees, as well as green and dried wood; it can infest apple, cherry, mulberry, peach, and a number of deciduous and conifer tree species. Fruit yield, tree longevity, and wood marketability can all be negativly impacted by VLB. Be on the lookout for this pest.