Gardening resources > Pests
Cornell University Department of Horticulture
Gardening resources
Cornell gardening resources Pests
Insects, diseases, weeds, wildlife, poisonous and invasive plants and other pests.
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At your county's Cornell Cooperative Extension office.

Pest factsheets - Links to pest management factsheets from many Cornell departments and units.

What's that bug? Fun, interactive site filled with pictures of insects and related critters -- some pests, others beneficial, all wonderful.
Online diagnostic tools:
Univ. of Md. diagnostics
Berry Diagnostic Tool
Readers Digest Problem Solver
More info
Pest alert: Lily Leaf Beetle
1/2-inch, bright red adults and slug-like larvae (that cover themselves with their own excrement) feed on true lillies (Lillium spp.) and Fritillari spp. Recently spotted in the Rochester area. If found, email Carolyn Klass. More info, see UMass factsheet.

Disease alert:
Sudden Oak Death - Spreading nationwide. Affects rhododenrons, viburnums and more. See factsheet or more information from NEPDN.

Recommended reference: Pest Management Around the Home - Includes strategies, cultural practices and pesticide recommendations for household pests and insects, diseases, weeds, wildlife and other pests in gardens and landscapes.
Pest Management Around the Home cover.  Click for ordering information.

Damaging Plant Pests and Pathogens in N.Y.
Have you seen any of these? USDA and NYS Department of Ag & Markets want to know. Gardeners can be the first line of defense, helping to monitor and nip infestations in the bud.

Worried about termites from Gulf Coast mulch? - Chances are slim they pose any problems for New York gardeners.

Avoid the late blight blues
Save your tomatoes and help prevent a repeat of 2009.
Cornell online resources:

What's killing my plants? - Links to pictures and information about the 29 most asked-about plant pathogens in New York State. See also Master Gardener presentations and handouts on plant basic plant pathology and disease diagnosis.

Resource Guide for Organic Insect and Disease Management - Developed with Northeast commercial organic farmers in mind, some gardeners may find the approaches here helpful. Focuses on practices to reduce problems in brassicas, cucurbits, lettuce, solanaceous crops (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers), and sweet corn. Includes 12 pages of color pictures of most common pests and diseases, factsheets on common organic controls, and helpful appendices on resistance, beneficial insects, trap cropping, and more.

New York State IPM Program - Develops sustainable ways to manage pests and help people to use methods that minimize environmental, health, and economic risks. Includes helpful factsheets (including beneficial insects), brochures (Weeds and Your Garden, Weeds and Your Lawn, Grubs in Your Lawn) and other publications.

Deer defenses - A round-up of information to help you keep deer at bay.

Weed Control for the Home Vegetable Garden [20 MB .pdf, 1989] - Mechanical, cultural and chemical strategies. See Pesticide Management Education Program and read labels for updated herbicide recommendations.

Viburnum leaf beetle Citizen Science - Help Cornell researchers track the spread of this pest across NY and the Northeast. Site features pest ID images, when and how to find this pest at every stage of its lifecycle, and how to minimize damage.

Plant disease diagnostic clinic - Directions for submitting samples as well as factsheets on common diseases of vegetables, fruit, flowers, turf and more.

Organic Garden Weed Management Website - Provides gardeners with information about the biology of garden weeds, including identification, management strategies, ecological facts and more.

Insect Diagnostic Lab - Information on how to submit samples for identification or consult by phone. Includes some popular factsheets.

Tree Fruit and Berry Pathology - While targeted for commercial growers, this website has useful factsheets, links and a timely newsletter.

Vegetable MD Online - Vegetable disease information from the Dept. of Plant Pathology including pictures and factsheets that can help you identify and cope with diseases. While much of the information is targeted at commercial growers, some of the information is useful for gardeners.

Ecology and Management of Invasive Plants Program - Includes factsheets on phragmites, purple loosestrife, garlic mustard, water chestnut and Japanese knotweed.

Wildlife control information - From Cornell's Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Damage Management Program, includes online factsheets on deer, woodchucks, squirrels, snakes, raccoons, and bats. Also other regional wildlife management publications.

Reducing deer damage to home gardens and landscape plantings - Includes information on the effectiveness of repellants and lists of plants deer like, and don't.

Pesticide management education program - Information for commercial applicators on using pesticides safely, including an IPM tutorial and pesticide profiles.

Medical Entomology Extension - Features factsheets on West Nile virus, mosquitos and ticks.

Management of Pond Plants - Includes a step-wise approach to managing unwanted pond vegetation and analyses of different control options.

Poisonous plants - A growing reference from Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors - New York State program, includes Reducing Pesticide Exposure in the Home and Garden and other pesticide factsheets.

Print publications:

New: Tree Fruit Field Guide to Insect, Mite, and Disease Pests and Natural Enemies of Eastern North America - More than 500 color photos will help you identify insects, mites, and diseases that are causing damage in the orchard, as well as beneficial insects, spiders, and mites that should be preserved.

Cornell Cooperative Extension's Pest management guideline series includes Pest Management Guide for Control of Wildlife, Pest Management Around the Home and many other titles targeted primarily at commercial growers.

Weeds of the Northeast - Practical guide to help you identify and outsmart weeds. Order from Cornell University Press.

Insects that Feed on Trees and Shrubs - Comprehensive handbook gives the essential facts about more than 900 species of insects, mites, and other animals that injure woody ornamental plants in the United States and Canada.

Diseases of Trees and Shrubs - Pictorial reference comprehensively covers disease and environmental damage to trees and shrubs in the United States and Canada. Diagnostic aid uses specific symptoms to identify the disease-causing agent.

Other resources:

Beneficial Insects and Spiders - From University of Maine Cooperative Extension, identifies insects and spiders that eat garden pests. Also see their beneficials factsheet.

Plant Pest Handbook - Guide to insects, diseases, and other plant disorders from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. While conditions in Connecticut are similar to many areas in New York, this is not a substitute for seeking local advice, as all solutions may not be appropriate for New York gardeners, and pesticide laws vary from state to state. Follow label directions precisely.

Invasive Plant Council of New York State - Includes list of worst invasive plants and alternatives for your garden.

Univ. of Md. plant diagnostic site - Online diagnostic tool for solving home and garden problems.

Reader's Digest Garden Problem Solver - Helpful troubleshooting tool. Not a substitute for seeking local advice as all solutions may not be appropriate for New York gardeners.

Washington State University's Hortsense - Cultural and chemical remedies for the most common yard and garden plant problems in the Pacific Northwest. Well organized.

Iowa State's Integrated Pest Management Site - Insect problems and solutions.

University of Nebraska's Wildlife Management Resources - Covers rural and urban vertebrate pest management in the garden and home.

Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.

Website design: Craig Cramer

Mention of trade names and commercial products is for educational purposes; no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Cornell Cooperative Extension or Cornell University is implied. Pesticide recommendations are for informational purposes only and manufacturers' recommendations change. Read the manufacturers' instructions carefully before use. Cornell Cooperative Extension and Cornell University assumes no responsibility for the use of any pesticide or chemicals. Some of the links provided are not maintained by Cornell Cooperative Extension and Cornell University. Cornell Cooperative Extension and Cornell University are not responsible for information on these websites. They are included for information purposes only and no endorsement by Cornell Cooperative Extension or Cornell University is implied. Cornell Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.