Insect and Plant Disease Diagnostic Labs

Cedar apple rust; photo by Edwin Remsberg, USDANow part of the new University of Maine Cooperative Extension Diagnostic and Research Laboratory

Since our inception in 1989, the Insect and Plant Disease Diagnostic Labs have served over 25,000 citizens. Inquiries arrive in the form of walk-ins, phone calls, e-mails, and regular mail. We operate year-round and offer diagnostic services to the public. Services include plant disease identification, plant nutritional and cultural problem assessment, insect identification, and insect injury identification. Maine’s Integrated Pest Management programs also make use of the labs for insect identification as well as plant disease diagnosis.

Important Notice:

Due to the public health concern caused by the COVID-19 virus, all University of Maine offices and facilities are closed to the public. Extension personnel are working remotely. We have adjusted diagnostic services until further notice. We appreciate your understanding and patience during this uncertain time.

Walk-in and mail-in samples will no longer be accepted for any diagnostic service until further notice.  However, you can still call us, email us, and send images.

  • Insect ID samples (not including ticks) that were received by Wednesday, March 18 will be processed when services resume (providing the sample has not decomposed).
  • Plant samples received after Wednesday, March 18 will likely need to be resubmitted when services resume.
  • Plant and insect digital samples: The Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab and the Insect ID Lab are accepting digital samples sent by email. Submissions must include your name, phone number, business name, county, host plant, problem, date when symptoms were noted and good, in-focus images.

You can reach Alicyn Smart from the Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab by email at or by phone (207.581.3883) and Clay Kirby from the Insect ID Lab by email at or by phone (207.581.2963).

Insect Assistance

Plant Disease Assistance

Additional Assistance / Topics