Pest Knowledge Base 101

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To explore the Pest Knowledge Base 101, navigate to sections on this page. Lastly, please check out our FAQs section if you have questions about these organisms or Contact Us if you don’t see your question(s) listed.

Common Pests & Microbes • Ornamental Plant & Turfgrass • Weed Management

Common Pests

Follow the links below for detailed descriptions of these common pests.

Woburn, MA


Swimming pools require year-round maintenance. Pools must be checked for proper pH and salinity. Proper treatments for the management of harmful microbes include the use of biocides and other agents.

Bacteria, fungi, viruses, and algae cause harm by spreading disease and affecting the normal functioning of manmade systems. 

Therefore, there is a need to manage the spread of these types of organisms. Within the state of Georgia, this field of work is called Antimicrobial Pest Control (Cat. 37). Licensing by examination is required to use pesticides, which are biocides, that reduce microbial growth. Licensure is by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, which has oversight in pesticide use within the state of Georgia.

Swimming Pool Maintenance

  • Swimmer comfort and health are significantly improved when pH, salinity, and microbial populations are optimal.

Industrial Water Cooling System

  • Deposits, fouling, corrosion, general wear and tear caused by the action of the environment as well as by microbes are common problems in industrial water cooling towers.  Treatment of these systems with biocides can alleviate these problems and lengthen the operational life water tower systems.  

Microbes (cont'd)

Poultry Shed Cleaning and Disinfection

  • The cleaning and disinfection (C/D) of poultry housing requires the use of biocides which are critical for the success of any chicken farming operations.  

Janitorial Science

  • This pest management area includes the use of disinfectants, sterilizers, and biocides to control microbes in places where people live and work.

The organisms described here are the most common pest, weed, and microbial species in nature. However, it is important to note that this list is for educational purposes and is not comprehensive of all known pest organisms. For more information about other types of pests, please review Publications | Resources or navigate to the website of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Ornamental Plant & Turfgrass • Weed Management

Albany, GA

Pests of ornamental plants and turfgrass includes fungi, insects, bacteria, other destructive organisms, and pesky weeds, which can be managed using biocides, insecticides, herbicides, and other control measures.

Disease agents of ornamentals include the following: vascular wilt (Verticillium and Dutch elm disease affecting the roots and stems, respectively), leaf spots, scab, powdery mildew, which are all caused by fungi.

Insects, such as caterpillars, beetles, leafminers, aphids, and lacebugs, damage fruit, flowers, leaves, and buds, along with mites, which are not actually insects, but are classified with the spiders. 

Fire blight is bacterial in origin and affects apples, pears, and the rose family.

Disease agents of turfgrass, include the following: Heminthosporium, rust, Pythium blight, Rhizoctonia brown patch, snow mold, slime molds, Fusarium Blight (aka Necrotic Ring Spot), and fairy rings are all fungal in origin.

Insects that feed on turfgrass include grubs, billbugs, sod webworms, and chinchbugs.

Nematodes, which are primitive worms,  that feed on the roots of ornamental plants and turfgrass.

Several kinds of weeds compete with ornamental and turf plants for food. These include perennial weeds, which are difficult to control with herbicides, which also destroy cool-season turf as well, and the annual weeds.

Several vertebrate animals harm ornamentals and turfgrass plants as well.  These animals can be controlled by reducing insect populations, which are the primary food source for these pest animals.

To learn about control methods for these organisms, visit Plants and Pathogens under the Pest Knowledge Base 101 menu.

Albany, GA