The National Identification Services (NIS) coordinates the identification of plant pests in support of USDA’s regulatory programs. Accurate and timely identifications provide the foundation for quarantine action decisions and are essential in the effort to safeguard the nation’s agricultural and natural resources.
NIS collaborates with scientists who specialize in various plant pest groups, including weeds, insects, mites, snails and plant diseases. These scientists are stationed at a variety of institutions around the country, including federal research laboratories, plant inspection stations, land-grant universities, and natural history museums.
NIS supports the use of alternative diagnostic methods to enhance the speed and precision of the identification process. The Remote Pest Identification Program utilizes digital imaging technology to capture detailed images of suspected pests which can then be transmitted electronically to qualified specialists for identification. Additionally, the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory is responsible for providing biochemical testing services in support of the agency’s pest monitoring programs.
Last Modified: May 8, 2012