We do not process human or human-related samples (i.e. scotch tape samples from people’s skin, hair, or any other tissue samples).  It has to be a visible insect or arthropod that can be placed in a collecting jar or vial.

Packaging of sample:

  • Collect several insect specimens if possible.  Place specimens in sturdy clear containers with tight fitting lids that are strong enough to survive mail or courier services. Hard-bodied specimens can be sent either alive or in containers of rubbing alcohol. Aphids, mites, spiders, small flies and larvae need to be sent in rubbing alcohol. Caterpillars should be flash boiled before placing in rubbing alcohol.  Turf insects can be sent alive in soil/root samples mailed in crush-proof box.
  • Send specimens to the address on the left navigation bar of this page.

Information to include with sample:

Describe damage of concern.  If the insect is not included in the sample (damage sample only) describe the insect if possible (shape, body length, coloring, behavior).

Include the following collection data: 

Collection date.

Collection location (e.g., Helena MT).  Or, give nearest town and distance / direction from it (for example, 7 mi. SW of Helena MT).

Collector’s name (not county agent etc.).

Host identification (for example, green ash).  If the host is not a plant, describe environment of collection site (for example, kitchen windowsill, basement, bag of rice).


Laurie Kerzicnik
56 Marsh Lab