Diagnostic Labs and Identification Tools

plant detective

There are variety of specialized services available to help people in Wisconsin with everything from identifying the insects living in their gardens to the diseases on their plants.  Information on specific diagnostic and testing labs can be found below.

Insect Diagnostic Lab

The UW-Madison Insect Diagnostic Lab (IDL) specializes in identifying insects and insect-damaged plant material from around the state and processes over 2,000 cases annually.  In many cases, insects can be identified from a digital image alone, so e-mail submissions are accepted.  Physical samples (insects and/or plant materials) can be mailed in to the lab or dropped off in person.  Instructions for submitting physical samples to the lab can be found here.  There are no charges for the services of the insect diagnostic lab.

Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic (PDDC) provides assistance in identifying plant diseases and provides educational information on plant diseases and their control. While the PDDC focuses on plant disease problems in the state of Wisconsin, any interested party is welcome and encouraged to take advantage of and participate in the clinic’s educational services and activities.  Instructions for submitting samples to the lab can be found here.  There are fees associated with many of the PDDC services.

Soil Testing Lab

The UW-Madison Soil and Plant Analysis lab was established over 100 years ago to provide agricultural and environmental diagnostic services to Wisconsin farmers, homeowners, and agribusiness.  Services offered include soil fertility testing, plant tissue nutrient analysis, and a wide range of other assays.  There are fees associated with these services, and a full list of services and fees can be found here.

Turfgrass Diagnostic Lab

The UW-Madison Turfgrass Diagnostic Lab (TDL) provides diagnostic services and management recommendations for all turf health issues concerning both commercial turfgrass managers and homeowners.  There are fees associated with many of the TDL services.

Weed identification Tool

The Wisconsin Weed Identification Tool is a self-service online tool to assist in the identification of weedy plants in Wisconsin based on information entered about the weed.

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