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Invasive insects that are a concern in Utah

Extension Utah Pests


  This program originally aired in August 2021.

So, what are invasive species? They are organisms that are not native to the local environment and they're capable of harming the environment, the economy, or human health.

Invasive species are aggressive and destructive. They are a current and growing threat to our nation's agriculture and natural resources. Thousands of nonnative species have been introduced into the US, an estimated damage and management costs exceed 130 billion per year.

Major ways that invasive species spread include transportation, so vehicles, planes trains, passenger baggage, outdoor gear, such as boots and equipment, wood products, plants and plant parts, storm fronts and winds that blow pests into new areas, natural dispersal such as flying insects.

Some of the current invasive species of concern in Utah include the emerald ash borer, a pest that is native to Asia, and is now established in many areas of eastern North America, and is as close to Utah as just across the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

Another one is the European cherry fruit fly, which has been detected in Canada, and it has a quarantine in place to prevent the spread of fruit from those areas.

Gypsy moth is found in many areas of North America, especially where there are oak and other types of hardwood forests. It's not yet detected in Utah.

Japanese beetle which has already been eradicated from Utah one time in 2006. And his numbers have been increasing in recent years and a likely new eradication program will occur soon.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, also a pest from Asia, and is now found along the Wasatch Front in northern Utah. However, a parasitoid wasp that's native to this native range of the stinkbug is now in Utah and looks to be helping to suppress the stinkbug.

For more information on invasive species and what you can do to help prevent their spread, go to Utah Pest’s Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey webpage on the USU Extension website.