Pest Alert Guidelines

These pest alerts are a product of the Regional IPM Centers. The purpose of a pest alert is to rapidly provide information about a new or emerging pest while potential impacts of the pest is assessed. Pest Alerts are written to be relevant nationally for at least two years. The North Central IPM Center reserves the right to update the pest alert, which may result in editing the material for future editions. The full copyright statement for pest alert authors appears below. 


Pest Alerts can be accessed as electronic PDFs, printed handouts, or digitally accessibly webpages on the North Central IPM Center website. Pest Alerts are usually single page handouts (front and back). They should not include specific pesticide recommendations, but rather suggest contacting local experts like Extension educators and the National Plant Diagnostic Network laboratory. Non-chemical recommendations may be included if there is research-based evidence of efficacy.

What to Include

There’s a lot of information available when writing pest alerts, and deciding where to start and what to include can be difficult. Here are some details to include:

  • Common name, formal name and category of pest, and the primary host for the pest/primary source of damage.
  • How to identify the pest.
  • Life cycle of the pest/offspring production numbers.
  • How the pest damages host(s). When is damage seen?
  • Initial origin of pest and how it came to arrive in the area/where it is now established.
  • How to scout for damage.
  • Damage rate (if currently available).
  • Known pest management tactics.
  • How to monitor the pest.

Pest Alert Creation Process

Development of a pest alert includes the following steps:

  1. Contact the North Central IPM Center when a new or emerging issue is identified to discuss the need of a regional or national pest alert.
  2. An individual or team authors a draft of the text, usually 700-800 words and identifies appropriate images (300 to 600 dpi) and diagrams.
  3. Pest alert authors along with institutions are listed.
  4. The draft text is peer reviewed. Peer review is coordinated by the North Central IPM Center; however authors are encouraged to recommend reviewers.
  5. The text and images are forwarded to the graphic designer for layout.
  6. The draft layout is sent to the authors for review, corrections, and approval.
  7. Graphic designer makes final corrections and then provides final file(s). 8
  8. The new pest alert is distributed as pdf and/or printed.
  9. Pest alerts will be reviewed every 2 years and edits may be made.
  10. If you need annual download and/or print numbers please contact the Center at

The North Central IPM Center will provide assistance and graphic layout of the pest alert along with a printable PDF. Cost of printed copies are covered by the North Central IPM Center.


Pest Alerts can be revised at any time upon request of the authors and or the Pest Alert Committee. Every two years after publication Pest Alerts are evaluated by the authors and/or the Pest Alert committee who will make a determination if the Pest Alert should 1) remain available without editing, 2) remain available with editing of the information or 3) should no longer be available to the general public. Outside expertise may also be sought when making a determination on the continued need to update and make available a Pest Alert.

Copyright Statement for Pest Alert Authors

Approved by Barbara Biederman, ISU Counsel, 4/22/2019 Thank you for authoring a Pest Alert with the North Central IPM Center. By submitting this publication to the North Central IPM Center, you affirm that the publication is your original work or that you have the rights to grant to the North Central IPM Center as granted herein. You retain the copyright to the text and images of the publication so you can continue using the text and images in your own work and grant permission for others to use in their work. However, by submitting a publication to the North Central IPM Center, you agree to grant and do hereby grant a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to the North Central IPM Center and those acting on its behalf to use, display, distribute, modify, or create derivative works of the publication, or portions of the publication, for North Central IPM purposes, including marketing, promotion, education, research, and sharing. The NCIPM Center will be responsible for updating this publication which may result in editing the material for future editions.