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Test, Don't Guess. How to submit plant and insect samples for diagnosis.

Insect samples

Please send 10 or more insects, if possible, and all life stages present (e.g., egg, larva or nymph, pupa, adult).

If you’re submitting a plant pest, please include or identify the plant material on which the insects were found. This is useful and sometimes absolutely necessary for insect identification. If you don’t see any insects but suspect the problem is caused by them, collect several samples of damaged plants showing a progression of symptoms. If the plants are small, consider submitting an entire plant . (Refer to the plant section for wrapping and shipping details.)

It’s illegal to send some live insects through the mail. Please submit preserved specimens.

Preserving and packaging insects

Small or soft-bodied insects: Grubs and caterpillars must be prepared before preservation to prevent discoloration. Drop them into gently boiling water for about 30 seconds, then transfer them into a vial containing 70–80% alcohol or 100 proof liquor. Please indicate the original color of the specimen.

Aphids, spiders, and other small arthropods may be placed directly in a vial containing alcohol.

Large or hard-bodied insects (e.g., beetles, wasps, butterflies, moths, cockroaches): To kill them, put them in a freezer for a day. Gently sandwich the dead insects between layers of cotton or tissue, then place them in a sturdy container.

Ship to:

Insect Diagnostic Laboratory
Cornell University
Department of Entomology
2144 Comstock Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-2601