Forest Pest First Detectors

Forest Pest First Detectors

In response to the growing threat of invasive pests to Vermont’s forests, state and federal partners working with invasive tree pests identified a need to nurture local volunteers to assist with ongoing outreach, education, and local planning and surveying efforts. To address this need, the partners came together to develop Vermont's Forest Pest First Detectors (FPFD) program. Vermont FPFD volunteers are on the front line of defense against forest pest infestations. Since 2008, over 160 people across the state have completed the training and become Forest Pest First Detectors.

Summer 2021 On-Line Training

This introductory level course will cover the importance of Forest Pest First Detectors and what they do; basic information on the life cycle, signs and symptoms of specific pests; how to report suspected infestations; and opportunities for volunteering and educating others in your community. This course will cover emerald ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid and elongate hemlock scale, and Asian longhorned beetle. Other pests will be covered in future versions of the course.

Who should participate?

This course is designed for anyone who wants to learn more about invasive forest insects, look for them, and educate others about them. This is an introductory level course intended for people with little to no prior experience with invasive insects or who are looking for a refresher to a previous Forest Pest First Detector course. * Please note: no continuing education credits will be offered for this course.

Course Dates: July 19 – August 29

About the Course

  • This is a free, self-paced course, designed to introduce participants to basic concepts and resources.
  • Composed of six sections with optional exercises to test your knowledge.
  • Each section has videos and content that are to be completed on your own schedule.
  • Live optional webinar discussions: July 20, July 22, July 30, August (date TBD).

This course requires internet access.

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand and explain the threats posed by invasive forest pests.
  • Identify the host trees, signs and symptoms, and common look-alikes of emerald ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid, elongate hemlock scale, and Asian longhorned beetle.
  • Locate information on and other resources on invasive forest pests.
  • Submit reports of suspect infested trees or pests to
  • Participate in volunteer opportunities to prepare for or address these pests in your community.

Register Here


Contact Ginger Nickerson at or 802-505-8189.