Submitting an Insect Specimen

Insects and related arthropods can be submitted to the Iowa State University Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic for identification. In addition to identification we provide you with information about your insects life cycle, if it is a pest or not, and integrated pest management options for you to implement if it is a pest. Typically you will receive your diagnosis within two weeks of when we receive your sample.

Collecting and Mailing Household Pest Samples


Human Parasites: We will not examine skin, scabs, excrement or urine for other bodily fluids for insects or mites.  Scabies and other potential parasites must be diagnosed by a medical doctor.  We can identify the following human parasites: ticks, lice, fleas, bird mites and bed bugs. Small insects and mites must be taped to a white sheet of paper and circled.  

Photo shows how to properly package hard bodied insects - in a container to prevent crushing and retrained within the container (with toilet paper) to prevent damage.

Help For Those Outside of Iowa

Your local Extension Office or state Diagnostic Laboratory is the best to help you with your insect problems.