It’s Invasive Species Action Week in California through June 13. California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is partnering with other government agencies and environmental groups to discuss the threats posed by invasive species.

CDFA’s Report a Pest Program

Have you seen a new or unusual plant or pest in your area? If so, you can play an important role in protecting California agriculture and your environment by reporting the sighting of a plant or pest that you suspect may be a new invasive species in your area.

How can you help?

If possible, take photographs of the plant or pest. Tips: including something of commonly known size in the photo for comparison is helpful; taking photos of the immediate environment where the sighting occurred and key landmarks for finding the site is also often helpful.

Photos can be attached to the Report a Pest Sighting Form either electronically or in hard copies (see below for online and hard copies of this form).

If you wish to collect a specimen to assist with identification, it is important to keep the specimen secure to avoid the spread of the collected species, or any organism that may be attached to it. Please keep a record with the specimen of the location and date that it was collected.

Toxonomic groups

Invertebrates (for example: insects, snails) – Invertebrates should be collected into a closed vial or jar with enough rubbing alcohol included to keep the tissue moist.

Plants – Plant specimens should include the stem with intact leaves and, if available, intact flowers and/or fruits. The plant should be placed in a plastic bag* with the top folded over and secured.

Plant Diseases – Submit multiple plant specimens exhibiting the symptoms of concern. These should be collected into a plastic bag and loosely sealed (e.g., folded over at the top).

Vertebrates (fish, for example) – Seal in a plastic bag and freeze. Please contact your local county agriculture department or the Department of Fish and Game to report this sighting.

*For detailed information, go to Sampling & Submission Guidelines.

Alert: sending specimens by mail is not recommended. Before doing so, please contact your local county agriculture department for mailing instructions. (See “Find Your Local County Agriculture Department.”)

Who to contact

Contact your Local County Agriculture Department. Inform them that you wish to report a pest sighting.

Or, complete the CDFA “Report a Pest Sighting Form” online and submit via email to the CDFA Pest Hotline.

Or, report a pest by calling the CDFA Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899.

Or, download and complete the CDFA “Report a Pest Sighting Form” and mail to the address provided at the top of the form. Note: sending specimens by mail is not recommended. Contact your local county agriculture department for instructions before doing so.

Reporting Tip: the CDFA Report a Pest Sighting Form can be downloaded and completed for use as a prep tool when contacting your local county agriculture department or when calling the CDFA Pest Hotline. The form provides you with the type of questions you may be asked by your local county agriculture department or by the CDFA Hotline operator.

Link to CDFA’s Report a Pest page