How to Collect an Insect Sample for Identification

How to Collect an Insect Sample for Identification


We at Ford’s Hometown Services are often asked to identify insects for identification for homeowners and businesses alike. There are a few tips I would like to share for successful collection.

1. Do not squish the bug. Without seeing the body and distinguishing features of the insect, identification is impossible.

2. Do not put a live flying insect in a container that is not see through. There is nothing worse than opening up a container and having the specimen fly away.

3. If your insect is in a non-see-through container, it should be dead. I have opened a container to find a live bed bug which quickly scooted up my wrist to start feeding. Not funny (although now it is a little funny).

4. Tissues and saran wrap don’t cut it. When a customer comes in and starts to unravel the tissue or saran wrap and suddenly realizes the bug escaped, it is very unsettling. Was it a bed bug? Is it in here now? Was it head lice? You see my point.

Have the answers to these questions ready:

How many insects are you finding?

Where are you finding these insects?

Where did the problem first appear?

How long have you been finding them?

We are happy to provide 1 or 2 insect monitors for you to bring home in the event that you are having trouble catching a sample. We also will send off your insect for proper identification in the event we are unable to identify your insect. This is a free service we provide. We do not identify insect bites, we are not qualified and a Dr. should be contacted.  Please stop by or call if you have any questions. 1-800-649-9992.