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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2074 | Fax: (406) 444-2684
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Identification and Management of Forest Insects and Diseases


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Identification

Accurate identification is the first step in management of forest insects, diseases, or abiotic damage (such as from herbicides).  There are numerous resources to assist in the process of determining the cause of damage.  Primary among these is the regional identification guide titled “A Field Guide to Diseases and Insect Pests of Northern and Central Rocky Mountain Conifers.”  A paper version of the field guide is available from your local service forester.

The Montana DNRC Forest Pest Management (FPM) program staff is available to help with identification of forest insects and diseases.   FPM also offers training sessions that provide an excellent opportunity to learn and improve skills in forest insect and disease identification. 

Specimens found in homes, gardens, and yard trees should be submitted to the MSU Schutter Diagnostic Lab.

Management

After identification is accomplished, landowners and foresters should take the time to learn more about the specific insect or disease hosts, biology, life cycle, potential impacts, and basics of management.

An outstanding resource is the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Insect & Disease Leaflets (FIDLs) series.  FIDLs provide short but comprehensive descriptions of biology and management.  They are written by forest entomologists and pathologists of the U.S. Forest Service, State agencies, university scientists, private consultants, and others. 

In addition to the U.S. Forest Service FIDLs web page, FPM provides them in the following ways:

Both lists provide a full citation for each FIDL for copying into reference lists.

The regional management guide covers management options for most of the insects and diseases found in the identification field guide.