Washington Pest Watch is a citizen science initiative led by agencies and universities at the front line in protecting our state’s natural resources and economy from invasive species. 

You don’t have to be an entomologist or biologist to participate in the network; the majority of network members are everyday people who keep their eyes peeled for the signs and symptoms of high priority invasive species and report them to agencies to aid in detections and rapid response. 

Just keep an eye out in your yard, your neighborhood, or when enjoying outdoor activities. Be aware and report what you spot—it’s simple and easy.

Why Become a First Detector?

Do you enjoy and appreciate Washington’s outdoors? Are you a hiker, hunter, or sport fisher? Do you take your family to our state and national parks and forests or other public spaces to picnic, camp, or boat? Do you or your friends have trees in your yards, gardens, or farms? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you have a great reason to become a first detector. 

Training Options

We strive to offer a variety of training options to best fit the needs of our diverse network members. Options include in-person trainings, Webinars, and soon online on-demand trainings.

In-Person Trainings

Our training network typically hosts between 5 and 15 in-person trainings at various locations across Washington State, led by experts from various state and federal agencies.


For those of you who can’t attend a training in person, you may join the network by participating in online trainings. We also will be offering supplemental focused trainings on future priority species and advanced detector topics such as invasive frog recognition, feral swine impacts and disease risk, and invasive species reporting for teachers.

Upcoming Trainings

Visit our events Web page to find future training opportunities.

Don’t see an upcoming training in your area? E-mail us to request a training for your community, Washington State University Master Gardener Chapter, or other group.

Training Recordings

First Detector Resources

Trainer Resources


Presentations include attached scripts in the speaker’s notes and a space in the slide master for your own agency logo to be added (optional). They may be combined with presentations on other species to make a custom training event. The introductory presentations on invasive species and the Washington Invasive Species Council, Washington Pest Watch, and reporting also may be combined with the species presentations to make a complete training sequence.

Network Partners

National Plant Diagnostic Network

National Plant Diagnostic Network-National Program
U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Protection and Quarantine and Wildlife Services Washington State Department of Agriculture Plant Protection Division Pest Program
Washington State Department of Natural Resources Urban and Community Forestry ProgramWashington State Noxious Weed Control Board Washington State University Extension and Plant Pest Diagnostic Clinic