IDaids supporting pest identification in the field

Summer is officially here! For plant protection professionals, farmers, gardeners, and others dealing with plants, that often means watching for signs of plant pests, diseases, and weeds. Once a problem is spotted, it must first be correctly identified before treatment can begin. Field guides are one type of resource that is particularly helpful for identification while you are in the field looking at the plant and its pest. These handy references, many of which are now web- or app-based, are designed to be clear, concise, and focus on a particular region, host, pest, or some combination thereof.

Here we offer a few IDaids that are field guides, to assist novices and experts alike in helping to detect and identify pests, pathogens, and weeds.

See our collection of IDaid field guides on ITP's Search IDaids website.

PestSmart Diagnostic Field Guide


CABI's PestSmart Diagnostics package includes this field guide, which gives non-experts the skills to diagnose problems in the field by showing relationships between common symptoms on plants and the pests causing them. It's packed with images and diagnostic information covering all major pest groups.

A Field Guide to Diseases & Insect Pests of Northern & Central Rocky Mountain Conifers

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

This field guide includes diagnostic keys, descriptions, comparison tables, photographs and drawings, as well as indices by host and subject. It is organized in color-coded sections according to part of the tree affected.

Invasive Plants in Southern Forests: Identification and Management

University of Georgia, United States of America

This app, available for Apple's mobile devices, enables accurate identification of the 56 nonnative plants that are currently invading forests in the 13 southern states. Information for each species includes photographs, occurrence maps, descriptions, ecology, and more.

Diagnostic Guides (for Soybeans)

Soybean Research & Information Network

This web page lists 24 website and pdf guides covering pests, diseases, and weeds of soybean, variously based on growth season, pest group, and/or region. Many are free, though some require a small fee.

Field Guide to the Identification of Japanese Stiltgrass with Comparisons to Other Look-a-like Species

Alabama Cooperative Extension System, United States of America

Japanese stiltgrass, also called Nepalese browntop (Microstegium vimineum), has invaded many ecosystems in the eastern half of the United States. This field guide shows how to identify it.