KY FY22 Invasive Pest Outreach 5.0389.01

Grants and Contracts Details


Invasive Pest Outreach We will use three strategies to engage and educate the public about signs and symptoms of invasive pests, pathways of movement, and ongoing survey and eradication efforts statewide and nationwide. First, we will develop an invasive pest module for county extension agents. Each of Kentucky’s 120 counties has an extension office and these agents are often the first person contacted by citizens when they see something of concern. The agents must complete training hours each year and can choose from different topics. This is a train-the-trainer strategy since each agent will then be very knowledgeable about invasive pests and can educate the citizens in their counties. Second, we will train interested groups to assist us with an important pest survey we conduct each year: the Gypsy Moth Detection Survey. We will focus on training citizens in parts of the state not currently included in the survey or high-risk areas in which additional traps would be useful. These individuals will learn about invasive pests more broadly in a training session and will then get hands-on experience with a specific invasive pest survey. Their participation in the survey project will foster interest and enthusiasm and will inspire them to share their experience and knowledge with others. We will also enlist their help in scouting for another pest: Spotted Lanternfly and its preferred host, tree of heaven. Third, we will educate the general public about invasive pests through in-person events and via our website We will have booths at outreach events throughout the year and across the state. Our booths will have informational pamphlets, promotional items, pinned specimens, and examples of pest damage. We will keep track of numbers of booth visitors and will measure impact by offering a survey to measure visitor’s knowledge before and after talking with us. We will measure potential changes in behavior by offering a Don’t Move Firewood pledge for booth visitors to sign after we explain the pathways by which invasive pests can move. These three strategies will increase the knowledge of the public and the likelihood that they will look for and report invasive pests. Purpose, Benefits and Accomplishments: Briefly describe the purpose of your project, including the impacts (benefits) expected and their estimated value as return on the amount of funding being requested, the specific project objectives, and accomplishments anticipated upon meeting these objectives. If applicable, include information on anticipated trade impacts and benefits. Outreach and education projects are essential for the early detection of invasive pests. For example, the first Emerald Ash Borer in Kentucky was discovered when a homeowner called our office after using an identification card he had picked up at our booth during an outreach event. This funding will allow us to increase the number of people who are educated about and actively looking for invasive pests. There are many pests of concern to Kentucky including Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), spotted lanternfly (SLF), imported fire ants (IFA), hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), gypsy moth, and emerald ash borer (EAB). This project will raise awareness that invasive pests pose a threat to the state’s forests as well as urban, rural, and agricultural environments. Education and participation in a survey project will increase the likelihood that the public will look for and report invasive pests which is essential since early detection is critical for successful eradication. Impacts and benefits expected from this project: ? Personnel in our office will work with extension entomologists to develop an invasive pest module for the yearly training of Kentucky’s cooperative extension agents. We will monitor changes in knowledge and behavior using quizzes and surveys. They, in turn, will be able to teach the citizens in their counties about invasive pests. ? Personnel in our office will work with extension entomologists to implement an education/volunteer citizen scientist program for groups such as Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, youth groups, and other interested parties. In addition to general training about the threat from invasive pests, participants will assist with the Gypsy Moth Detection Survey and will assist in the search for Spotted Lanternfly by surveying for that pest and its preferred host, tree of heaven. These citizens will then share their knowledge with their family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors. ? Personnel in our office will have booths at outreach events across the state and throughout the year to increase public awareness of signs and symptoms of invasive pests in Kentucky, teach them about the potential pathways along which these pests move, explain the surveys conducted statewide, and discuss eradication efforts, when applicable. ? Education and outreach will increase the probability that invasive pest infestations throughout Kentucky will be discovered early. This could result in management and/or eradication of smaller infestations and reduced damage to natural and urban areas. ? We will continue to maintain our office website which explains past, present, and future survey efforts ( In addition, we will establish a dedicated email address by which concerned citizens can report suspect insects to University of Kentucky personnel so that appropriate steps can be taken. Technical Approach: Describe your technical approach, including a description of the methodology and a summary of the various tasks to be undertaken. Include any quantitative and qualitative performance measures based on the project’s objectives. If applicable, describe the information technology (IT) system development involved in the project and why such IT development is required beyond existing databases or applications (ex. Are they not fulfilling current IT needs or satisfying requirements?). This Invasive Pest Outreach Project will incorporate 3 strategies. We will (1) provide education and information about invasive pests and pathways to key groups, (2) implement volunteer programs to support pest detection, and (3) educate the public about invasive pest surveys and eradication efforts to increase public acceptance and support of those efforts. Strategy 1: Provide education and information about invasive pests and pathways to key groups. The University of Kentucky has a vast Cooperative Extension Service with offices located in each of the state’s 120 counties. County extension agents serve as local resources to the citizens in each county and are often the first point of contact when someone notices an unusual insect or weed. Extension agents are required to complete in-service training each year and extension entomologists in the Entomology Department provide some of that training. Our office, the Office of the State Entomologist, will work with the extension entomologists to develop a module on invasive pests for this yearly training. Before developing the module, we will send a survey to extension agents asking which invasive pests they get asked about the most and will incorporate that information into the training as well as information about other pests threatening the state that may not be well-known yet. We will offer this invasive pest module each year, updating it based on feedback from agents and new threats as they arise. The modules will be recorded so that agents can access the information at any time. To measure the impact of this training module, we may have a pre-test and a post-test to measure change in knowledge or behavior. In addition to the training, we will also create an online folder in a shared drive for extension agents to use. We will add files for factsheets, identification cards, small posters, pest alerts, and other materials about invasive pests that agents can print and distribute. We will make them aware of any promotional items that we may have available in our office that we can send them, as needed. Strategy 2: Implement volunteer programs to support pest detection. This strategy overlaps with the first one in that we will again target key groups for education, including Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, youth, and other interested citizens. Extension agents could be involved in implementing this strategy as well. We will educate these groups about invasive pests and their pathways of movement, but will also enlist them to help us with our invasive pest surveys. Kentucky’s Gypsy Moth Detection Survey has been extremely successful in preventing that pest from becoming established in the state. Since the survey began, three infestations have been detected and eradicated before they could become established, breeding populations. It is a devastating pest that is established in neighboring states to Kentucky and with current survey funding levels, we are not able to conduct the survey statewide. The gypsy moth trap is easy to assemble and does not require a lure change during the season which makes it perfect for a citizen scientist survey project. We will develop a training program and offer it 3 or 4 times in different regions of the state, particularly the regions which are not currently included in the detection survey. This is an opportunity for youth groups, Master Gardeners, and Master Naturalists to gain hands-on experience with an invasive pest survey in addition to learning invasive pest information in a more traditional classroom training session. They can then share their knowledge and experience with neighbors, colleagues, family, and friends while helping us increase the effectiveness and extensiveness of our survey. To measure the impact of this program, we may have a pre-test and a post-test to measure change in knowledge or a survey to inquire about changes in behavior or knowledge due to the training and survey experience. Spotted lanternfly is another pest of great concern to Kentucky as it spreads from the epicenter in Pennsylvania. With Kentucky’s growing grape and wine industry, this pest is of particular concern and early detection is key to slowing its spread. We will train the citizen scientists to identify SLF’s preferred host, tree of heaven, and document those sites so that we will have more information about the prevalence and abundance of tree of heaven in Kentucky. We will also teach them to identify nymphs and adults so that they can conduct a visual survey for SLF when they visit those sites. Strategy 3: Educate the public about invasive pest surveys and eradication efforts to increase public acceptance and support of those efforts. Using past outreach funding, our office has regularly had booths at outreach events including Earth Day and Arbor Day celebrations, Field Days, tree planting events, Home and Garden Shows, educational children’s events, fairs, farmer’s markets, etc. We have displays of pinned invasive insects, posters explaining our invasive pest survey efforts, and information about how the public can prevent the movement of invasive pests. Outreach funding is also used to develop useful promotional items to give to booth visitors. We will continue these booths since they have been an extremely effective way to reach the public. For example, the first Emerald Ash Borer in Kentucky was discovered when a homeowner called our office after using an EAB identification card he had picked up at our booth during an outreach event. We plan to add some features to our outreach booths to measure the impact we’re having. After educating people about the firewood pathway for invasive pest movement, we will give them the opportunity to sign a pledge to not move firewood. They will receive a promotional item or be entered in a prize drawing for signing the pledge. In addition, we plan to have a tablet or a QR code at the booth that visitors can use to take a survey of their knowledge upon arriving at the booth and after talking with us to measure the impact we are having. We also maintain a CAPS website ( that outlines current and upcoming survey projects, the geographic range of those surveys across the states, and results of the surveys. Currently, this website has a “Report Sightings” link which gives several options about what to do in the event of encountering a possible invasive pest. It may be confusing to have several options, so we plan to establish a dedicated, easy-to-remember email address that citizens can use to report possible invasive pests. Prior Experience: Indicate your prior experience with this project receiving Farm Bill Section 10007 or PPA 7721 funds. • If the suggestion received these funds in prior years, o Select the year(s) you received prior funding o Upload your most recent Accomplishment Report o In the narrative field, describe how the use of this funding provided a return on investment with measurable accomplishments. Accomplishments should show that any prior funding to support earlier stages of the project were spent and supported beneficial outcomes. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we received a no-cost extension for our FY20 Invasive Pest Outreach Project and it now ends December 31, 2021. The FY20 final accomplishment report is not due until August 31, 2021; therefore, I have attached the midyear accomplishment report for that project. All outreach events were canceled in 2020 and spring 2021; therefore, our accomplishments from FY20 differ significantly from our past outreach projects. For the FY20 project, due to the pandemic, our focus has been on distributing outreach materials instead of having booths or giving talks at events. We plan on attending outreach events in summer and fall 2021 before the project ends, as opportunities arise. As examples of past accomplishments in past, typical, non-COVID years, for the FY18 outreach project, we attended 51 events and reached approximately 7,900 people. We developed ads for newspapers and magazines, developed 7 new promotional items to give away, and created 2 informational pamphlets about invasive pests (IFA and EAB). In FY19, we used outreach funds to attend 25 events and reached
Effective start/end date6/1/225/31/23


  • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service: $30,985.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.