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Agricultural Pests

Agricultural Pests Act

The Agricultural Pests Act enables the Minister’s authority to declare an animal, bird, insect, plant, or disease as a pest or nuisance if it is destroying, harming, or is likely to destroy or harm any land, livestock, or property in all or part of Alberta. The duties of individuals and local authorities related to the prevention and destruction of pests are described in the Act. It also outlines the appointment and powers of inspectors to enforce the Act. Offences related to, and penalties for, contravention of the Act are described. The appeal process for issued notices and the recovery of inspector’s expenses are also described.


View The Agricultural Pests Act Using This Link


Pest and Nuisance Control Regulation

The Pest and Nuisance Control Regulation, under the Agricultural Pests Act, provides a list of declared pests and nuisances in Alberta. The Regulation restricts the importation, purchase, sale, disposal, transportation, transplanting, or distribution of an infested item or pest and outlines the exceptions and Minister’s authority to declare a quarantine. The Regulation describes the permit process for some pests including rats, and control of nuisances including coyotes and skunks.

View The Agricultural Pests Act Pest And Nuisance Control Regulation Using This Link


2% Liquid Strychnine 

Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency has cancelled the registration for 2% liquid strychnine for use on Richardson ground squirrels. 

Important Dates:

  • March 4, 2021: Last date of sale by Registrant (Manufacturer)
  • March 4, 2022: Last date of sale by Retailer
  • March 4, 2023: Last date of permitted use

For more information please visit the following link:  

PMRA Re-evaluation Decision Strychnine and Its Associated End-use Products (Richardson’s Ground Squirrels)


Animals, birds, insects, plants and diseases declared to be pests throughout Alberta

  • Africanized bee — Apis mellifera adansonii
  • Bacterial ring rot — Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus
  • Blackleg of canola — Leptosphaeria maculans
  • Chalkbrood — Ascosphaere aggregata
  • Clubroot — Plasmodiophora brassicae
  • Columbia River root knot nematode — Meloidogyne chitwoodi
  • Dutch elm disease — Ophiostoma ulmi and Ophiostoma nova-ulmi
  • Dwarf bunt — Tilletia controversa
  • European elm bark beetle — Scolytus multistriatus
  • Fireblight and the causal bacterium — Erwinia amylovora
  • Flag smut of cereals — Urocystis agropyri
  • Golden nematode — Globodera rostochiensis
  • Grasshopper (Locustidae)
  • Gypsy moth — Lymantria dispar
  • Head smut of corn — Spacelothecia reiliana
  • Karnal bunt — Tilletia indica
  • Lesser grain borer — Rhyzopertha dominica
  • Native elm bark beetle — Hylurgopinus rufipes
  • Norway rat and any other rat species or strain derived from the genus Rattus
  • Potato wart — Synchytrium endobioticum
  • Rabies — Rhabdoviruses
  • Stem and bulb nematode — Ditylenchus dipsaci
  • Warble fly — Hypoderma
  • White rot of onions — Sclerotium cepivorum


ASB Monitoring

The County of Warner Ag Service Board conducts an annual crop condition and pest monitoring program to observe the presence of disease, pests and other agricultural disturbances, these survey's include;

  • Alberta Crop Reporting,
  • Drought monitoring and forecasting,
  • Wheat - Fusarium head blight,
  • Canola - Clubroot, Blackleg and Schlerotinia,
  • Peas- Root rot, Mycosphaerella, Ascochyta, White mold and bacterial blight,
  • Corn - Fusarium,
  • Grasshoppers - population count,
  • Prohibited noxious weeds,
  • Elm bark beetle - Dutch elm disease,
  • Diamondback moth,
  • Bertha armyworm,
  • Rabies, and
  • Invasive mussels within reservoirs.


Provincial Insect Surveys

2020 Grasshopper Report and 2021 Forecast

The 2021 grasshopper forecast map is based on adult grasshoppers counts conducted in August 2020 by Agriculture Fieldmen across the province. Alberta Agriculture and Forestry acknowledges the continued commitment and support of the Agriculture Fieldmen across the province in conducting the surveys essential to the creation of this forecast.

The adult grasshopper counts give an indication of the number of individuals capable of reproduction and egg laying. Environmental factors can result in higher or lower actual populations than forecast. Individual producers need to be aware of the potential risks in their area and monitor fields accordingly and then make the appropriate decisions if control measures are required.

View the recent Grasshopper Report and the current forecast

Grasshopper Information

Grasshopper Identification


2020 Bertha Armyworm Survey

The bertha armyworm (Mamestra configurata) monitoring program has been conducted in Alberta since 1995. A group of keen and dedicated cooperators made up of provincial government personnel, industry agronomists, applied research associations, agricultural fieldmen and cooperating growers maintain the pheromone trap network. Agriculture and Forestry organizes the network of pheromone traps and maintains the map and the web-based application. The Prairie Pest Monitoring Network provides the traps and lures.

In 2020, a network 350 sites of pheromone-baited traps monitored for bertha armyworm across Alberta. These traps help to determine the density and distribution of moths. Moth counts from the traps are submitted using a web-based application that can be accessed using a smart phone.

Without dedicated and willing cooperators, such a comprehensive monitoring system would not be possible. Thank you to everyone who has participated in the pheromone trapping for bertha armyworm.

View the Bertha Armyworm Survey Findings

Bertha armyworm information

Bertha armyworm, Canola Council of Canada


Bertha armyworm, credit: J.Williams AAFCBertha armyworm larvae: Canola Council


Cabbage Seedpod Weevil Survey

The 2020 survey covered the canola growing areas of southern and central Alberta. 236 fields in 50 municipalities were sampled in late June to early July when canola was at 20-25 per cent flower. Surveyors sample by taking 25-180 degree sweeps through the crop starting at the field edge and walking toward the centre of the field.

View the Cabbage Seedpod Weevil survey findings

Cabbage Seedpod Weevil Information, Canola Council of Canada

Cabbage Seedpod Weevil, Credit: Canola Council of Canada


Rat Control

Alberta is extremely fortunate not to have rats in the province. This situation is not by chance, but by design. Since 1950, Alberta has had a program to keep rats out of the province.

If you see a rat, Phone the Ag Service Board at 403-642-2255, and do the following;

  • Safely take a picture, note the location, and send the information to:
  • Email: 310rats@gov.ab.ca
  • Phone: 310-FARM (3276)

The economic losses rats cause to stored and in-field crops, the destruction of property, and their effects on human health have been extensively documented for decades.

Losses caused by rats can be divided into 3 categories: Losses to food stuffs – consumption and contamination, Damage caused by gnawing and tunnelling,  and disease transmission – public health concerns of rat spread diseases such as C-difficile, e-coli, Lepstospirosis, Rat Bite Fever, and superbug bacteria are a few pathogens spread by rats.

Identification of rats

More information:

Overview of the Alberta Rat Control Program

History of Rat Control in Alberta


Rabies Surveillance

Rabies is an acute, fatal viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal and impacts public health, agriculture, and wildlife. Rabies in domestic animals is a provincially reportable disease and rabies in wild animals is a provincially notifiable disease.

If you spot any animal exhibiting the following symptoms, call the Ag Service Board at 403-642-2255.

  • Abnormal behaviour, aggression, self-mutilation,
  • Excessive salivation, difficulty swallowing, abnormal vocalization, abnormal cranial nerve reflects,
  • Ataxia, weakness, paralysis, difficulty breathing, and/or seizures.

The rabies virus infects the central nervous system. If a person does not receive the appropriate medical care after a potential rabies exposure, the virus can cause disease in the brain, ultimately resulting in death. Rabies can be prevented by vaccinating pets, staying away from wildlife, and seeking medical care after potential exposures before symptoms start.

Animal species which can be infected by rabies
Coyotes, Bats, Skunks, and Raccoons
Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

More information:

View the Alberta Rabies Prevention and Control Manual

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Rabies