The Entomology Program is responsible for the detection, delimitation and regulation of invasive and potentially destructive or harmful insect species affecting the agricultural industry in the Commonwealth. The Entomology Program at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) participates in these statewide and regional surveys by delimiting and reporting the presence and location of targeted pests within the Commonwealth. As part of our survey and collection efforts, the PDA's Entomologists are constantly looking out for potentially harmful insects present in the Commonwealth's forests, parks, and agricultural lands. Funding for the survey of exotic insect pests is largely through the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey program (CAPS) administered by the USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Farm Bill funding.
The Entomology Program at PDA is comprised of three sections: Apiary, Survey, and Taxonomy. Each is responsible for a particular aspect of insect pest and pathogen regulation within the Commonwealth, with the common charge of protecting Pennsylvania's agricultural commodities and plant industries, including the monitoring of pollinator health and populations, detection and delimitation of pests of local, regional and national concern, and identification of potential insect pests and new invasive species. Though the duties are distributed between the three sections, the Entomologist in all sections work closely together to provide integrated support to all surveys and services.
The Entomology Program also collaborates with the Governor's Invasive Species Council by cooperating with survey and outreach and by sharing of intellectual resources. This program also works closely with researchers and professionals at the USDA and the Pennsylvania State University, including Penn State Cooperative Extension, as well as with other state agencies and the Commonwealth's county conservation districts. The Entomology Program publishes a year-end report (found in the PUBLICATIONS sidebar) that includes an update on the status of the Entomology Program, including interesting finds, survey results and agriculturally-significant information.