Insects and Invasives

Unsolicited Seed Packages

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) urges anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds to mail those seeds to the location listed below for your state (click here for more information).

Cooperative Extension Services

Extension offers services and expertise in many areas regarding pests and invasive species. Our experts can help you identify, eradicate and prevent pest problems.

You can call your local UAF Extension office and fill out a plant or insect identification request form. An experienced agent will take a look at the physical specimen you bring in (inanimate and confined to a plastic baggie) and consult you as to what it is and what you can do about it.

If you don't have an Extension office in your area, check out the Citizen Monitoring Portal. Volunteer citizen scientists are encouraged to submit requests and photos regarding insects, plants or diseases in their local areas.

Please also browse our online invasive plant profiles for photos and descriptions of common noxious weeds.

What is an invasive species?

Invasive species are introduced species of animals, insects, plants, fungi, pathogens, and other organisms that if not controlled spread to negatively impact resources.  Land managers work to protect farms, gardens and landscaped areas, and natural resources including fish, game, berries and other vegetation from invasive species impacts. Without management, changes to effected ecosystems, farms and landscaped areas can cost landowners, managers and land users significant money. For more information on invasive species visit the Alaska Division of Agriculture and Alaska Department of Fish and Game web pages.  A list of non-native plants and profiles and an interactive map of places non-native plants are documented can be found at the Alaska Exotic Plant Information Clearinghouse.

News and Information

Alaska Invasive Species Workshop

The 2022 conference and workshop was held November 1-3 at the BP Energy Center in Anchorage and online. For more information about the conference and workshop visit our workshop page.

Lygus and Thrips updates

Two new factsheets have been released on lygus bugs and thrips in peony crops. “Managing Lygus Bugs in Peony Crops” and “Managing Thrips in Peony Crops” have basic information about these peony pests and how to look for and monitor them. There is also information on cultural controls, weed management and insecticides.

Firewood can harbor pests!

Please buy and burn firewood locally! Firewood can harbor pests that threaten the health of Alaska’s forests. Help keep invasive species out of the Last Frontier!

To protect our trees:

  • Don’t bring firewood into or out of the state.
  • Purchase or collect (if allowed) firewood near your destination.
  • Leave unused firewood behind; do not transport it to a new location.
  • Report unusual or suspect insects immediately to the UAF Cooperative Extension Service.

Alaska Invasives Identification App

Alaska Invasives ID Logo - State of Alaska with leaves overlayWe are pleased to announce that "Alaska Invasives ID," a mobile application for identification and reporting invasive species in Alaska, is available for free. The app works for both IOS and Android devices. It includes an interactive key and a form to report sightings of potential invasive species or get identification help. The app development was done in partnership with the University of Georgia and others with support of the Western Alaska Landscape Conservation Cooperative and funding from the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Free Pocket Weed Guide

Need a pocket field identification booklet for invasive weeds in Alaska to know what that weed is in your yard or garden or to help you document invasive weeds on public lands?  Contact us for a guide here.

You can also download the pocket weed guide online at the Forest Service website.

Gardening and landscaping

Noxious and invasive weeds, plant diseases, and insect pests are accidentally spread through gardening and landscaping.  We can help by providing alternatives to known invasive ornamental plants, inspecting potted plants for unwanted weeds, and making sure that purchased plants are pest- and disease-free.  For more information on landscaping plants to avoid and their alternatives see the Division of Agriculture brochure and the Extension Service publication "Don't Plant a Problem."