The Plant Protection Laboratory offers a free service for diagnosing plant diseases and identifying pest species. Plant diseases can be caused by many organisms such as fungi, bacteria and viruses.
Does your plant appear to be ailing?
For the most accurate plant disease diagnoses the specimen should be brought into the laboratory. Oftentimes, larger plants should be assessed in situ, in which case an officer will need to view the ailing plant in context at the property to get a better picture of what is going on.
Bring a sample of the insect or spider into the Plant Protection Laboratory. The lab will endeavour to identify the insect and provide you recommendations on its control where necessary.
Samples can be submitted dead or alive. Ensure that you do not put yourself at risk when collecting live samples. Whenever possible, try to preserve the insect intact, as crushed specimens can be difficult to identify—especially if body parts are missing or unrecognisable.
Plant pests that you can’t see or catch
In many cases, the laboratory can make an accurate identification of a pest on a plant sample that is showing the symptoms of being attacked by insects:
- yellowing leaves
- holes in leaves
- chewed stems or leaves
- damaged roots
To identify pests, submit as much of the damaged portions as possible, being sure to avoid the completely dead area (as the insects will have already left). Bring samples in sealed plastic or paper bags and avoid leaving the samples in the direct heat or a hot car, as this can speed up deterioration.
- Free service for local diagnoses
- Costs if the sample must be sent oversees for diagnosis
Identify plant or pest problems online
Not able to bring a sample to the Plant Protection Laboratory? No problem. Identification can be made from a clear digital image of the creature or the plant damage.
Email the picture to firstname.lastname@example.org. If the image is not clear or does not contain enough information to make an accurate identification, you may be asked to provide another sample.