Plant Pest Diagnostics Laboratory


NEW! Lab Newsletter - 2021 FALL

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The County Plant Pest Diagnostics Laboratory supports regulatory programs that protect local agriculture, such as the glassy-winged sharpshooter program and the nursery inspection program. The Lab offers limited, no-cost services to commercial agricultural operations, such as parks, golf courses, municipalities, nurseries, and groves. The AWM Lab typically does not handle residential samples; these samples are referred to the UCCE Master Gardeners’ program here or by phone at (858) 822-6910.

Commercial nursery or greenhouse growers can now submit ornamental plant pathology samples at no cost to UC Davis! All the information on how to submit samples can be found here:

For more information on this new service please contact Gerry Spinelli, Production Horticulture Advisor for Nurseries, Floriculture and Controlled Environment Agriculture:


Due to the closure of lobbies as required by social distancing measures, the lab is no longer taking physical samples for determination, except by appointment only. However, we are now also accepting virtual samples.


1.    Take clear, focused pictures of the specimen

2.    Fill out a Specimen determination form completely and legibly. Include a mail and/or email address and description of where the insect was collected

3.    Email the pictures and completed form to:


Residents are encouraged to submit unfamiliar insects to the Master Gardeners’ Program or iNaturalist for identification. These insects are important to our program of protecting US and California agriculture because resident submissions often allow us to become aware of exotic pests and how widespread they are in San Diego County.


The Laboratory welcomes all submissions associated with the commercial production of an agricultural commodity, as well as assists the pest control industry as staffing permits on a limited basis.