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Plant Industry - Plant Protection Section is CAPS?

The Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS) program operates under a cooperative agreement between USDA-APHIS and all the states, including U.S. territories. These, scientific-based surveys, completed by the CAPS community, are purposefully done with the intent of detecting new, exotic invasive plant pests as early as possible. Such surveys look for insects, diseases, weeds, nematodes and other invertebrates including mollusks. These surveillance efforts may hold national or state importance depending on what is being surveyed.

Every year the CAPS committee, whose core members consist of the State Plant Health Director, State Plant Regulatory Official, Pest Survey Specialist and State Survey Coordinator meet to discuss and define next year’s survey priorities. Other participants may be invited to join this committee based on their area of expertise to help with guidance for survey direction.


So What?

Many of the exotics we survey for are of concern because of their success in destroying host material and pose a threat to North Carolina (see 2015 CAPS commodity survey list). Early detection protects our agriculture and natural resources and allows mitigation measures to be placed in a timely manner. Such measures may hold regulatory action including the use of quarantine zones to isolate, control or eradicate the threat posed by exotic plant pest species.

How Can I Help?

We encourage the public to contact North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS), Plant Industry Division if they suspect exotic plant pests at 1-800-206-9333 or by emailing us at For additional information about CAPS please contact the State Survey Coordinator at (919) 707-3741 or by email at

North Carolina CAPS Partners

The North Carolina CAPS program is surrounded by talented people, programs and groups each doing their part to help protect both agriculture and the environment here in North Carolina. The three main areas of survey interest are insects, diseases and weeds.

The majority of exotic invasive threats are centered on insects. There are several invasive insects that are monitored and regulated by our division. For more information about these harmful pests please visit our entomological programs site. Common pests found in our state or region can frequently be mistaken for exotics. The North Carolina Forest Service describes many of these in good detail.

There are many diseases that affect or the potential to affect North Carolina. Some diseases require vectors or secondary hosts to complete their lifecycle. A list and information regarding, permits, regulated diseases and certifications can be found at our division’s plant pathology site.

The North Carolina Forest service has good information about invasive plants present in NC. In addition, our state noxious weed regulations and a list of North Carolina noxious weeds are also good sources of information provided by our weed specialist.


Useful Links

CAPS Homepage

Pest Tracker

NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division

National Plant Board


NCSU Plant Disease and Insect Clinic
NCSU Cooperative Extension
North Carolina Forest Service


For Additional Information Contact:
Email Address:
Phone: (919) 707-3741
Fax: (919) 733-1041



NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division - Plant Protection Section
Plant Pest Administrator - Phillip L. Wilson
Mailing Address: 1060 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1060
Physical Address: 216 West Jones Street, Raleigh NC 27603
Phone: 919) 707-3753 | FAX: (919) 733-1041