Michigan State University has launched a website—http://www.ipm.msu.edu/search—designed to make it easier to search and identify diseases, insect and mite pests, and beneficials of tree fruit.
The search engine content currently is based in large part on the "Tree Fruit Field Guide to Insect, Mite and Disease Pests, and Natural Enemies of Eastern North America."
Some of the material has been updated by region, according to an Extension report.
Searches can be conducted using a combination of either the name of a disease or insect, the location on the plant where disease symptoms or the insect was found, the plant growth stage, or the crop.
The tool can be accessed using any device connected to the Internet. Plans for a mobile-friendly version are underway along with the addition of other crops and pests.
The university also is seeking suggestions from users about how the search engine can be improved.
"Each search will help our developers better understand how it is being used and what needs to be improved," MSU entomologist Julianna Wilson writes.