Survey and Detection Program


The Entomology Program conducts plant pest surveys (insects, plant diseases, and nematodes). Plant pest surveys can be conducted by periodic visual surveys, sampling, or regular detection trapping programs. Surveys are conducted to determine if a particular pest exists in an area (example, in a county), and if found, how extensive the infestation is. Surveys are also needed to determine the feasibility of eradication, areas where eradication treatments need to be applied, and areas where quarantine measures need to be applied.

Plant pest survey data is needed in order to facilitate exports. Presence or absence data is important. Plant pests that may hinder or restrict plant and plant product exports should be surveyed. Laboratory diagnosis of the plant pests is crucial. This data is needed to document pest-free areas. Pest management areas will also be gained from survey data. Coordination of a statewide survey is important to the plant industry of Nebraska.

Regionalization provides for the certification of plants and plant products on a regional basis. This regional approach allows for the establishment of pest-free areas.

Ag Pathway MapIn 2022, NDA continued to survey for agricultural pests that have the potential to cause damage to Nebraska's crops if they are introduced to our state. Each site consisted of three bucket traps to survey for select pests. All traps and visual surveys were negative.

Areawide Nematode MapField locations for seed potatoes, tablestock potatoes, and nursery growers who export were sampled from October through November 2022. A total of 30 soil samples were taken from 7 counties across Nebraska. Samples were submitted for analysis to the UNL Plant Pathology Department for the presence of quarantine and export significant nematodes including: potato rot (Ditylenchus destructor); potato cyst (Globodera pallida, G. rostochiensis); soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera glycines); root knot nematodes (Meloidogyne chitwoodi, M. hapla, M. javanica); and other plant parasitic nematode genera. Dr. Tom Powers, UNL nematologist, and his staff conduct morphological and molecular diagnostics of all adult and juvenile nematodes found in the soil samples. The identification of plant parasitic nematodes helps to establish and maintain pest-free areas for the export of plants and plant products. All samples were negative for quarantine pests.

ALB MapFrom July-December 2022, NDA conducted 22 visual surveys in 14 counties across Nebraska for presence of ALB. Visual surveys were conducted to determine the presence of ALB at nurseries, campgrounds, state parks, wood recyclers, and other public lands across the state. Asian longhorned beetle was not detected at any location surveyed this year.

Christmas Tree Lot MapDuring the 2022 season, NDA inspected 59 Christmas trees dealer locations in 12 counties across the state. Inspections occurred in November and December to verify compliance with the federal Spongy Moth and Sudden Oak Death quarantines. Inspectors confirm compliance through paperwork review and physical inspection of the trees to help prevent the introduction of plant pests. One Withdrawal-From-Distribution Order issued for 11 wreaths that harbored live pests not known to occur in Nebraska.

Emerald Ash Borer MapNDA set and monitored 42 traps in 14 counties at high-risk areas, such as state parks and rest areas. All traps were negative for 2022.

In December 2020, the USDA officially deregulated EAB and has lifted the federal quarantine. NDA has no plans to enact a state quarantine for EAB but will continue to inspect nursery stock for insect and disease problems, including EAB. NDA will continue to work to educate the nursery industry about this potential threat to ash trees in Nebraska, through outreach programs. NDA has developed EAB outreach materials, which continue to be distributed at various industry meetings and conferences, and are also available on the NDA web site.

Firewood MapNDA inspectors inspect firewood dealers across the state to confirm compliance with state and federal quarantines that regulate the movement of firewood. A total of 67 firewood dealers in 15 counties were inspected to verify compliance with the federal Spongy Moth and Asian Longhorned Beetle quarantines, and the Nebraska Thousand Cankers Disease of Walnut quarantine. While some of the wood was of Nebraska origin, wood was also found to have originated in other states, including Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Two Withdrawal-From-Distribution Orders were issued for 75 and 180 bundles of firewood where origin was unknown. They were later released for sale after proper documentation was provided.

Outreach is also part of this effort. For more information, please see the Education and Outreach Events section.

Spongy Moth MapA total of 535 spongy moth (formerly gypsy moth) traps were set in 2022. Traps were set in 42 counties across the state. One trap in Douglas county and one trap in Keith county were positive. ID confirmed through USDA diagnostic testing.

In 2023, delimiting surveys for positive finds will take place in Douglas, Keith, Lancaster, and Washington counties. These surveys will help NDA determine the status of spongy moth in Nebraska.

Firewood surveys are also conducted as part of Nebraska’s spongy moth prevention efforts. For details, see Firewood Dealer Quarantine Compliance Inspections above.

Japanese Beetle MapIn 2022, a total of 140 JB traps (132 detection and 8 certification traps) were set in 35 counties across the state. Traps are located at airports, state parks, special quarantine compliance areas, and nurseries. Nursery stock distributors in non-infested counties that import balled and burlapped nursery stock are considered high-risk sites and, therefore, trapped individually. The traps were in place April-December 2022. A total of 28 traps were positive, in 13 counties.

In 2021 Nebraska moved to Category 3 status under the Japanese Beetle Harmonization Plan. This change moved Nebraska from Category 2, partially infested, to wholly infested. NDA continues to track the spread of Japanese Beetle in Nebraska. Chase, Custer, Greeley, and Valley counties are now considered infested based on the results of 2022 survey.


Karnal Bunt MapKarnal Bunt sampling occurred in July 2022. A total of 30, four-pound wheat samples were pulled in 20 counties, based on the 2021 National Karnal Bunt Survey Protocol. All samples were sent to the National Karnal Bunt Lab in Phoenix, Arizona, for analysis. All samples tested negative for Karnal Bunt.

Khpara Beetle MapKhapra beetles are the world’s most destructive pest of grain products and seeds. While this pest is not known to be established in the U.S., the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture survey high-risk areas annually for Khapra beetles. Federal funding was approved for a Khapra beetle survey in Nebraska beginning in January 2023. This January, NDA teammates set 114 traps in 14 counties in Nebraska (Adams, Buffalo, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Fillmore, Hall, Lancaster, Merrick, Platte, Sarpy, Scotts Bluff, Valley, and York counties). Traps are monitored monthly, for 90 days in the winter with surveys concluding by the end of April 2023.

Oak Splendor Beetle MapFrom April – October 2022, NDA set and monitored 7 traps in 7 counties, and conducted 23 visual surveys in 17 counties across Nebraska for presence of OSB. Visual surveys were conducted at nurseries, campgrounds, state parks, and other public lands across the state. Oak Splendor Beetle was not detected at any location surveyed this year.

Potato Cyst Nematode MapNDA participated in the National PCN survey from October through November 2022. 2,202 – 5-pound soil samples were collected, from 6 counties. Samples were sent to the USDA Idaho Falls PCN laboratory for processing to determine the presence or absence of (Globodera pallida and Globodera rostochiensis). Results for 2022 survey are pending.

Seed Potato Compliance MapDuring early spring of 2022, NDA inspectors conducted compliance inspections at 63 seed potato dealer locations in 19 counties. These inspections were to confirm compliance with Nebraska’s Columbia Root Knot Quarantine, and the Federal Potato Cyst Nematode quarantine. Three violations were found.

Spotted Lanternfly MapFrom April-December 2022, NDA conducted 61 visual surveys in 16 counties across Nebraska for SLF and Tree of Heaven (ToH), the preferred host of adult SLF. Visual surveys were conducted to determine the presence of SLF or ToH at nurseries, urban greenspaces, roadways, and forested areas across the state. These surveys will be used to record high-risk areas for introduction and establishment of SLF in Nebraska. A total of 30 of the 61 locations surveyed had ToH present. SLF was not detected at any location surveyed this year.

If you think you’ve found a Spotted Lanternfly, take pictures or collect a specimen, and report your suspicions to the NDA Entomology Program at 402-471-2351 or email us at

Spotted Lanternfly

Thousand Cankers MapIn 2022, NDA trapped for walnut twig beetle at a total of 15 sites in 13 counties. Each trapping site consisted of three multi-funnel traps in various locations for a total of 45 traps in the state. This survey was very labor intensive. In order to maintain the viability of the sample for accurate ID of the pest, traps were serviced every two weeks. One trap at a new location in Scotts Bluff County was positive for walnut twig beetle. Scotts Bluff County has had positive collections of walnut twig beetle in 2019 and 2020 as well, and NDA will continue to monitor the status of this pest in the state. The causative agent of Thousand Cankers Disease, Geosmithia morbida, has not been detected in Nebraska. There is currently no quarantine or export restrictions in place for this pest, pending the detection of infected trees.