PLEASE NOTE: We will be closing the Insect Diagnostics Lab at Kansas State University effective 16 June, 2018. We ask that all samples that need identification by this service be submitted no later than 11 June to allow time for processing by the diagnostician prior to closure. The “Gotbugs” email address also will cease to be monitored after 16 June. Users of “Gotbugs” after that date will receive a message indicating that the service is no longer available, and that they should contact their county or district extension office with their request.
Our entomology specialists will continue to support identification requests submitted by county and district agricultural and horticultural agents, and we ask that these requests be directed to specific specialists. Please be aware that our specialists will do their best to handle the increased workload, but sample processing will be slowed, and in some cases may not be possible, due to time constraints. Looking forward, insect identification will eventually evolve into a fee-based service to help offset costs for sample processing.
We apologize for the inconvenience. It is our hope that we can restore the service in the future when our budget is able to sustain it.
Insects are all around us, and we cross paths with them regularly. Most encounters are inconsequential, but some can get our attention. According to the publication "Insects in Kansas", only 15 to 20 insect species are responsible for 75 percent of all insect-related financial loss to the people of Kansas. Insects may adversely affect our homes, food, field crops, gardens, lawns, health or health of our animals. Control of such pests is often essential. But in order to control a pest it is imperative to accurately identify the insect causing the problem. Similarly, some insects are beneficial and are worth encouraging. In all cases we must first know what we are dealing with before we can determine how to deal with it! Insect identification is often difficult and time consuming (more than 15,000 insect species have been reported in the United States alone). In many cases a reliable identification to the species level can only be made by a taxonomic specialist familiar with the group of insects in question.
The goal of the Insect Diagnostic Laboratory is to provide a prompt yet accurate diagnosis of insects and insect related problems. We provide:
- Identification of submitted specimens to order, family, genus or species level, depending on each individual case. Recommendations for control methods may also be provided upon request.
- Assistance with identification of non-insect arthropods, such as spiders, ticks, mites, centipedes, etc.
For Extension County Offices Only: Instructions for submitting samples