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 2023, 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. In 2023, NDA set traps at 15 sites in 8 counties to survey for the presence of Old World Bollworm, Silver Y Moth, and Golden Twin-Spot Moth. All traps were negative.

Areawide Nematode MapField locations for seed potatoes, tablestock potatoes, and nursery growers who export were sampled from October through November 2023. A total of 34 soil samples were taken from 6 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. Results are pending.

ALB MapFrom July-December 2023, NDA conducted 17 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 2023 season, NDA inspected 87 Christmas tree dealer locations in 33 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. No Withdrawal-From-Distribution Orders were issued in 2023.

Emerald Ash Borer MapNDA set and monitored 30 traps in 10 counties at high-risk areas, such as state parks and rest areas. In 2023, Emerald Ash Borer was also confirmed in Lincoln county, and one trap was positive for EAB in Nemaha county.

The USDA officially deregulated EAB and has lifted the federal quarantine in 2021. 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 42 firewood dealers in 15 counties were inspected to verify compliance with 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. No Withdrawal-From-Distribution Orders were issued in 2023.

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

Spongy Moth MapA total of 613 spongy moth (formerly gypsy moth) traps were set in 2023. Traps were set in 73 counties across the state. One trap in Washington county and one trap in Jefferson county were positive. ID confirmed through USDA diagnostic testing.

In 2024, delimiting surveys for positive finds will take place in Douglas, Keith, Jefferson, and Washington counties. These surveys will help NDA determine the status of spongy moth in Nebraska.”

Japanese Beetle MapIn 2023, a total of 91 JB traps (87 detection and 4 certification traps) were set in 30 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-November 2023. A total of 13 traps were positive, in 8 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. Gosper and Red Willow counties are now considered infested based on the results of 2023 survey.


Karnal Bunt MapKarnal Bunt sampling occurred in July 2023. A total of 24, four-pound wheat samples were pulled in 8 counties, based on the 2023 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. NDA teammates set 114 traps in 14 counties in Nebraska. Traps were monitored monthly, for 90 days in the winter with surveys concluding by the end of April 2023. All traps were negative.

Federal funding was approved to continue the Khapra beetle survey beginning in January 2024. This January, NDA teammates set 114 traps in 15 counties in Nebraska (Boone, Box Butte, Chase, Colfax, Dawes, Dawson, Douglas, Hall, Keith, Lancaster, Merrick, Perkins, Saline, Scotts Bluff, and Valley counties). Traps are monitored monthly for 90 days with surveys concluding by the end of April 2024.

Oak Splendor Beetle MapFrom April – October 2023, NDA set and monitored 10 traps in 9 counties, and conducted 10 visual surveys across Nebraska for presence of OSB. Trapping and 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 2023. 2,499 – 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 Pale and Golden Cyst Nematodes (Globodera pallida and Globodera rostochiensis). Results for 2023 survey are pending.

Seed Potato Compliance MapDuring early spring of 2023, NDA inspectors conducted compliance inspections at 80 seed potato dealer locations in 25 counties. These inspections were to confirm compliance with Nebraska’s Columbia Root Knot Quarantine, and the Federal Potato Cyst Nematode quarantine. In 2023, NDA inspectors restricted and witnessed the destruction of approximately 650 seed potato packages at retailers that were in violation of Nebraska’s quarantine. Two additional violations were released after the proper documentation was received.

Spotted Lanternfly MapFrom May – December 2023, NDA conducted 50 visual surveys in 18 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 42 of the 50 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 2023, NDA trapped for walnut twig beetle at a total of 14 sites in 14 counties. Most trapping sites consisted of three multi-funnel traps in various locations for a total of 41 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. All traps were negative for walnut twig beetle in 2023. Traps set in Scotts Bluff County collected walnut twig beetles in 2019, 2020, and 2022. 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.