Plant and Insect ID services

Because knowing your horticultural enemies (and your friends) is important to control, Extension offers identification services for plants, insects and even reptiles amphibians and birds.

Plant ID

We can help you identify that shrub growing in your yard, the tree across the street, or that weed you would like to get rid of. You can send an email picture of the plant, preferably with a close-up of the leaves and we can usually tell you what it is. It helps if you can send both a close up and a picture of the entire plant. If it is a weed, we can suggest ways to control  it. If you can’t send a picture, bring in a piece of the plant and we’ll try our best to figure out what it is.

If you think your plant has a disease, we can help identify the disease and offer control suggestions. Again, you can email a picture, preferably a clear close-up of the damage as well as a picture of much of the plant. Sometimes we need a sample of the plant, which we send to UK for a definitive diagnosis.


Deciduous holly


Disease damage on elm trees

Insect ID

If you have an insect in your yard, garden or home and wonder what it is feel free to bring it in or email a picture and we’ll try to figure it out. If it is a bad boy, we’ll suggest control methods. If you bring one in, try not to squash it beyond recognition; all bug guts look pretty much the same! If you think it might be a harmful insect, such as a bedbug, please put it in a tight container.

We will also try to identify the damage insects do to your plants – who is doing the damage and how to control. Again, send a picture or bring in a sample of the damage. We will also suggest controls.


Eastern tent caterpillar egg cases


Coddling moth damage to apples


Swallowtail butterfly

Finally, we do make home visits! It’s best if you can be available during working hours 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For help with all of your horticulture questions, call Walt Reichert, 633-4593 ore email, walt.reichert@uky.edu.