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Development of PestLens

PestLens is APHIS-PPQ's phytosanitary early-warning system that collects and distributes new information on exotic plant pests and provides a web-based platform for documenting safeguarding decisions and resulting actions. A weekly e-mail notification is sent to PestLens subscribers.

PestLens is the result of the merger of two previously existing PPQ systems - Exotic Pest Information Collection and Analysis (EPICA) and the Offshore Pest Information System (OPIS) - into a more streamlined, efficient, and user-friendly system. Archived OPIS and EPICA reports are accessible through the searchable database in the PestLens web system. While PestLens was developed for PPQ, its audience now extends beyond PPQ to a wide range of international plant protection officials.

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A Team of PestLens Analysts

With expertise in entomology, plant pathology, weed science, and technical communication systematically collects, evaluates, and summarize s relevant pest information, both from online sources and contributed by system users. When summarizing news items, the PestLens team places them into a plant health context and includes pertinent biological background information.

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Weekly Notification

The summaries produced by the PestLens team are disseminated through a weekly e-mail notification. The notification is timely, concise, safeguarding - focused, and formatted for readability.

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Designated Action Groups

Are tasked with deciding what actions should be taken in response to each PestLens article and recording the resulting decisions and actions in the PestLens web system. Action groups represent specific PPQ safeguarding functions (e. g., domestic pest surveys, regulations, risk assessments, pest databases).

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The PestLens Web System

  • A searchable archive of all PestLens articles
  • A mechanism for users to share information with the PestLens team
  • A venue for users to comment on PestLens articles, allowing them to contribute their expertise and insights toward good decision-making by the action groups
  • The decision and action history associated with each PestLens article
  • A variety of customizable summary reports


You are accessing a U.S. Government information system, which may be accessed and used only for official Government business (or as otherwise permitted by regulation) by authorized personnel. Unauthorized access or use of this computer system may subject violators to criminal, civil, and/or administrative action. All information on this computer system may be intercepted, recorded, read, copied, and disclosed by and to authorized personnel for official purposes, including criminal investigations. Access or use of this computer system by any person, whether authorized or unauthorized, constitutes consent to these terms. Regarding use of the information in this system by registered users, the PestLens web site is a secure site. Unauthorized access or distribution of information contained on the PestLens web site to unauthorized individuals is strictly forbidden; this restriction also applies to distribution of information contained in PestLens notifications to unauthorized individuals.

While some of the data provided through our platform is available for public use, users are required to adhere to our terms and conditions regarding its access and distribution. This application is intended for personal, manual use. By using this application, you agree to refrain from using any automated tools (such as crawlers, bots, scripts, or browser extensions) to access, copy, or extract data from our website. This helps us provide a fair experience for all users and avoid strain on our servers.

If you have a USDA or DHS e-mail address and already have a GPDD, PAGS or OPIS account, you can use those credentials to access PestLens.