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Plant & Insect Diagnostic Laboratory Insect Identification

Insect Identification


The Puyallup Insect Laboratory is only equipped to deal with insects, mites and spiders from the Pacific Northwest.

How should you collect a sample?

  • Capture insects and immediately kill by freezing. Leave in freezer overnight. Pack gently with tissues or cotton in a stoppered vial. If desired, include sample of damage.
  • Do not place butterflies, moths, or bees in alcohol, as key diagnostic features will be ruined.
  • Do not send live insects, crushed insects or insects caught on tape or on sticky traps (as key diagnostic features will be gummed and destroyed).

What information should you provide?

  • Personal contact information (address, phone, fax, email)
  • Background information on problem:
    • Where are the insect found?
    • What concerns are associated with the insect?
  • Completed C0495 Insect Identification (pdf) form.

How much does this service cost?

There is a base fee of $25.00 for insect identification. Certain tests (if required) may incur additional cost.

We accept payment by cash or check only. Please make checks payable to WSU Puyallup Plant Clinic.

How should you package your specimens for shipment?

Cardboard box

Place vial containing samples in a crush-proof box for mailing. Note: It is illegal to mail samples preserved in alcohol as it is considered a flammable liquid.

Mail samples to:

WSU Puyallup Plant Clinic
2606 West Pioneer
Puyallup, WA 98371-4998

Please DO NOT mail on a Friday or before any national holiday as specimens may deteriorate in transit or over the weekend.

You may also drop off samples in person at the Puyallup Research and Extension Center. The Plant Clinic is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 – 3:00 pm.


If you have questions regarding your sample, please contact the diagnostician (253-445-4582 or during business hours.