Got a pest? We’ll test it and tell you the rest

Region: Greater Darwin, Katherine Region, Central Australia | Topic: Horticulture, Biosecurity
May 2021

Staff member inspecting insects

Caption : Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade Entomology staff member Haidee Brown checks out insects from the reference collection. This collection is used to help identify specimens sent in from growers and the general public.

Have you got something bothering your bananas? Is there a critter crawling on your cassava? Maybe there’s a monster munching your mangos?

If you have an insect or plant disease query, the diagnostic team can help.

If you like to browse the web we have a range of field booklets, agnotes and factsheets available on pests and beneficials in mangos, tropical vegetables and more. View the department’s publications search where you can search by crop/host or pest, such as ‘snake bean’ or ‘ant’, or browse our plant pest and disease category, or check out our fact sheets and photographs at Northern Territory Insects.

The diagnostic team can also identify a specific organism for you and provide management advice. Phone, email or send us a specimen. This service is available for commercial and backyard producers. Identifications and advice are confidential and free of charge for Territorians.

Our ability to identify your specimen depends on us receiving a fresh, well-prepared sample or a clear photo with collection details. If a plant disease is suspected, a living plant sample is best. We’ll need to know:

  • the name of the person submitting the sample, and the name of the person who collected / photographed the sample (if they are different)
  • contact address
  • email / landline / mobile
  • locality or address of collection
  • date collected
  • host plant details.

Put plant material or insects into a sealed plastic bag or appropriately sized crush-proof container or jar. When using a jar, add some tissue at the bottom to prevent damage and to soak up any moisture. Specimens can be hand-delivered to Berrimah Agricultural Laboratories (Berrimah Farm Science Precinct, Makagon Road, Berrimah NT) or posted to GPO Box 3000, Darwin NT 0801.

If specimens cannot be delivered within two days, put insect specimens into the freezer and plant disease samples in the fridge until delivery is possible. Please don’t mail specimens on a Friday as they stand a good chance of rotting and being super stinky after a weekend in transit.

More information

Phone: 08 8999 2258

Plant Pathology
Phone: 08 8999 2218

Back to NT Rural Review - May 2021